Celebration of Champions - Supporting children with cancer.

The Cause
Celebration of Champions

Childhood Cancer

According to the National Cancer Institute, over 10,000 children in the U.S. under the age of 15 were diagnosed with cancer in 2022.

Childhood cancer is the leading cause of disease-related death among children past infancy. The causes of most childhood cancers are not known and canít be prevented; most are thought to develop from gene mutations that lead to uncontrolled cell growth and eventually cancer.

According to the American Cancer Society, the types of cancers that develop in children are often different than those that develop in adults. The duration and types of treatments are dependent on the type of cancer and the childís response. Treatment is customized for each child, so daily, weekly or monthly chemotherapy treatments may be needed. Depending on the type of cancer and therapy plan, Rady Childrenís becomes their home for days, weeks and even months at a time. For some pediatric cancers, treatment protocols may last years, and pediatric oncology patients are followed by the Peckham Centerís oncology care team into their adult lives due to increased risk of complications from their cancer treatments.

Treating frightened children with cancer, and their equally overwhelmed parents, require a special approach. Since treatment regimens are long and arduous, a specially-trained care team is needed: oncologists, hematologists, radiation oncologists, infectious disease specialists, radiologists, pediatric surgeons, psychologists, nurses and nurse practitioners, cancer research team, dietitians, child life specialists, social workers, parent liaisons and chaplains, to name a few.

During the past 40 years, survival rates have improved dramatically. According to the American Cancer Society the combined five-year survival rate for all childhood cancers has improved from 58% in the 1970ís to more than 84% today.

The good news is that pediatric cancer is more treatable and survivable than ever before, thanks in part to investments donors like you make every day!