For years and years, the number one disease killer of children has been cancer. In fact, cancer kills more kids than all other diseases combined! For children, the average age at diagnosis is 8 (ages 0 to 19), while adults’ average age for cancer diagnosis is 65. For years and years, adult cancers have received 96% of government-funded research* while childhood cancers only got 4%. Nothing has changed. It’s time for a real change if we want to give our children a real chance at living a full life.
“Our children are dying to live”
Adult cancers are not the same as childhood cancers, but for the most part, due to the lack of development, children have to rely on adult chemotherapies to cure their cancers. Chemotherapy kills the fastest growing cells in an adult’s body: cancer cells, hair cells, saliva cells, eyelashes, eyebrows, etc. Chemotherapy does the same thing for children, but it also causes serious side effects because most cells in a child’s body are fast growing. All their organs and bones are constantly growing. It can cause changes in the DNA and can cause secondary cancers. Our children are dying to live. Saving children from cancer using adult therapies today has an 84% five year survival rate. While that may sound good, consider that one in every five children treated dies within five years of being diagnosed and the surviving child has to battle all the side effects from the toxic chemotherapy and radiation. More than 95% of childhood cancer survivors will have a significant health related issue by the time they are 45 years of age.
Children need to have non-toxic therapies developed just for their particular cancers and their fast growing bodies. We need to invest in childhood cancer research as well. For the last 10 years, childhood cancers have only received 4% of the budgeted research. We must do better. Will you help?