Posted by Michael Root on February 15, 2012
Twenty years ago this fall, my infant brother was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) here in the US. By that time much progress had been made in the development of leukemia treatment, but the prognosis was still poor. Thanks to advances in chemotherapy and much love and support, he survived and was declared in remission two years later.
Since then, treatment has become more targeted and more effective, and the outlook for children with cancer is far brighter. As recently as the 1960s, the survival rate was below 30% and most types of childhood cancer were virtually incurable. Today, it is a completely different story: The latest treatments give children diagnosed with cancer more than a 70% chance of beating the disease.
And yet, so many children around the world do not get this chance because they do not have access to advanced treatment. This year, let’s do our part to raise awareness about the importance of early detection, and give these children the fighting chance my brother had.
The International Confederation of Cancer Parent Organizations (ICCCPO) and the International Society of Pediatric Oncology (SIOP) are raising awareness of the importance of early detection and diagnosis in the treatment outcome of childhood cancer. They have also created templates that can be used by individuals and patient groups creating local campaigns to raise awareness on behalf of children everywhere.
Let’s work together to help assure that “Kids can rise above cancer too”!
Facts about Childhood Cancer**
When diagnosed early enough, and treated with the appropriate protocols, approximately 70% of childhood cancers are curable. However, today only 20% of the world's children benefit from advanced medical care.
Children living in the underdeveloped countries account for 80% of the world's population of children. Some of these children have cancer and are currently denied the right to hope for a cure. ICCCPO exists so that the parents of these children have access to the information they require to make educated decisions about their child's treatment.
** Source: icccpo.org (http://icccpo.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=dspEntry&entry=9&category=9&subcategory=11)