Status of Childhood Cancer Funding
Funding for all cancers is not the same, and funding for childhood cancer research is severely lacking. Kids need their own specialized research because they are not just little adults. Awareness can lead to funding which leads to research which leads to better treatments. Federal funding makes up the majority of funding for childhood cancer research, yet it barely cracks the $200 million level from a government with a total budget of $3.6 trillion and makes up less than 4% of NCI’s budget (adults get 96%).
Incredibly, seemingly without notice or concern from media or the NCI, this past April we learned that the incidence of childhood cancer has increased over the last seven years, increasing from 1 in 330 to 1 in 285 for children under 20 years old. While 80% of kids live five-years after diagnosis, the long-term survival rate is less than 80%, maybe as low as 66% on average, and of course for some kid’s cancers it’s virtually 0%. 20% of the five-year survivors subsequently die from their cancer, a secondary cancer, or long-term effects of the “cure” or the treatment over the next 25 years, the gross term excess mortality. 98% of the five-year survivors face long-term health effects from the treatment, with about half suffering severe or moderate life-long effects.
So much more needs to be done.
The childhood cancer community is made up of incredible people who bring diverse backgrounds and talents to the fight. People want to collaborate to cure childhood cancer faster; and together we could change the world.
These numbers and facts are some much less complex when your child has cancer or if you’ve lost a child. It’s really very simple: We as a country, as adults, are still not doing the best we can to save our own sons and daughters from the disease that kills more kids than all others combined. We need to challenge our leaders to do better, we are way past the awareness stage…..