What is the Current Leading Cause of Cancer Death in Children?
New data shows that brain cancer is now the leading cause of cancer death in children; surpassing Leukemia.
In 1999, Leukemia accounted for about ⅓ of cancer death in children and adolescents. Brain cancer accounted for about ¼. Leukemia and brain cancer combined accounted for more than half of all cancer death in children.
By 2014 These Stats Had Reversed
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, a shift had occurred and “brain cancer has replaced leukemia as the leading type of cancer causing death among children and adolescents aged 1–19 years”.
Statistics show there has been roughly a 20% decrease in children and adolescent cancer-related deaths during the 1999 and 2014 time period. This drop in cancer death in children has come from a decline in Leukemia-related deaths. Thanks to advances in technology, more effective chemotherapy procedures, to name a few, Leukemia is no longer as deadly as it once was.
On the contrary, “brain cancers are generally very hard to treat”, states Elizabeth Ward, senior vice president for intramural research at the American Cancer Society. It’s extremely difficult for surgeons to not damage healthy tissue during operations.
In addition, many cancer therapies for children, like radiation and chemo, have been linked to long-term developmental issues. As more research is conducted, there are hopes to find ways to minimize these harms.
Brain cancer is now the leading cause of cancer death in children. Thanks to technological advances in medicine and treatment, the once extremely lethal disease, Leukemia, is now second. There are hopes with more research, and newer technology and treatment regimes, we will continue to see an even greater decrease in overall cancer-related deaths in children and adolescents in the years to come.