International Childhood Cancer Day is observed on February 15 every year and all over the world. The day raises awareness of childhood cancer and honors all the children and families experiencing the effects of the disease. It acknowledges their pain and difficulties, giving them space to process and grieve. Despite the advances in medicine and medical technology, cancer remains the leading cause of death by disease for children past infancy. Not only is childhood cancer traumatic, but it also requires specialized treatment and care. Pediatric oncology is an important field in medicine that works with cancer in children and devices strategies for treatment, pain management, and home care.
History of International Childhood Cancer Day
Childhood Cancer International, a network of parent organizations that spans continents, instituted International Childhood Cancer Day to ensure that children with cancer get the best possible care. The day is set aside to raise awareness about childhood cancers and the treatments available for these diseases. Every year, more than 400,000 children, teenagers, and young adults under the age of 20 are diagnosed with cancer. While cancer is one of the leading causes of death from disease among children, the actual number of children who die because of cancer has reduced over the years.
Most cancers have effective treatments and management methods that have increased the survival rate significantly. Childhood cancers require specialized treatment plans developed by pediatric oncologists, and this day helps to publicize the existence of such treatments. International Childhood Cancer Day was also instituted to improve treatment rates and reduce the pain and suffering caused by cancer among children around the globe. While the chances of full recovery for children with cancer can reach 80% in countries that have a high G.D.P., in the middle and lower-income countries, the chances can slip down to 20%.
The I.C.C.D. focuses on the importance of equitable access to treatment for cancer among children who are suffering or are survivors of cancer. It works to ensure that all over the world, children have access to the best possible care, and can overcome the difficulties cancer poses to them and their quality of life. The initiative aims to make childhood cancer a priority in the world. It works in line with the WHO Global Initiative on Childhood Cancer towards a 60% survival rate for children with cancer.
International Childhood Cancer Day timeline
British surgeon Percivall Pott discovers cancer of the scrotum to be a common disease among chimney sweeps.
First named Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation, the non-profit charitable organization is established by parents of children with cancer and is currently the only U.S. member of Childhood Cancer International (C.C.I.).
The largest patient-support organization for childhood cancer in the world is founded.
International Childhood Cancer Day is instituted.
The leading organization dedicated to addressing inequality in care for childhood cancer is founded, with multiple programs across continents.
International Childhood Cancer Day FAQs
Is childhood cancer curable?
Fortunately, childhood cancer is curable. The majority of children who receive treatment are cured.
What are the common types of childhood cancer?
The three major childhood cancer types are lymphoblastic lymphoma, mature B-cell lymphoma, and anaplastic large cell lymphoma. Blood, brain, and nervous system-based cancers are most common among children.
How common is childhood cancer?
Cancer is fairly uncommon among children. It is a rare disease, according to the U.S. Rare Diseases Act of 2002, as it affects less than 200,000 people each year.
How to Observe International Childhood Cancer Day
Reach out to children with cancer
Childhood cancer is a difficult disease to experience. Reach out to children with cancer and offer them comfort on this day.
Spread information about childhood cancer
Make pamphlets, flyers, or websites, to spread information about childhood cancer. This is a great opportunity to ensure that people who need the information about treatments receive it.
Be part of the tree of life campaign
Childhood Cancer International works with the International Society of Paediatric Oncology on a campaign for cancer advocacy. Volunteer with these organizations to help amplify the message of hope and life-saving medication as part of the tree of life campaign.
5 Facts About Childhood Cancer That You Probably Didn’t Know
Cancer is uncommon among children
99% of cancers are found in adults, and only one in 285 children actually develops cancer.
There is no known cause for cancer
Although cancer develops when cells change and start growing out of control, there is no known cause for this, especially in childhood cancers.
Leukemia accounts for 29% of childhood cancer
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia and Acute myeloid leukemia are two of the most common types of cancer diagnosed among children under 15.
The spotlight is on cures
The Global Initiative on Childhood Cancer also focuses on developing permanent cures for childhood cancer.
Cancer is expensive
1.16 Trillion U.S.D. is the estimate of the total annual costs of cancer and its treatment as of 2010.
Why International Childhood Cancer Day is Important
We feel for children
Cancer is a difficult disease to live with. We respect the children who are enduring the pain and want to express our sympathy for them.
It’s easier to share information
We want to make sure that people who need information about treatments receive them. We also want to spread hope and the possibility of full recovery so kids can keep fighting.
Helps in the fight against cancer
The best way to address childhood cancer is to raise awareness, raise funds for research, and make sure that children with cancer have access to treatment. We want to contribute and do our bit towards fighting cancer.
International Childhood Cancer Day dates