As our NOU readers have seen from other articles featured this month, September is, among other things, Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Childhood cancer, while something we may not want to talk or think about, is real. In the years I have worked in cancer control and prevention, I can attest that it is real. Some of those whose lives have been touched by childhood cancer are some of the strongest people I know, and ALL have one thing in common – they want to make sure everyone knows about childhood cancer. Whether it is the child, currently going through treatment, a young adult who is now a childhood cancer survivor, to a parent or loved one who is a co-survivor of childhood cancer – they all have an inner strength that is nothing short of incredible – and a PASSION for sharing with others what the words “childhood cancer” really mean.
One parent of a childhood cancer survivor who I personally have known for over thirteen years – and who I won’t name, because it will embarrass her – is about as passionate as they come when it comes to being a voice for childhood cancer. For the past thirteen years, when she is not in D.C. as an advocate, or in Nashville doing things that would fill page after page, she has written the chapter on childhood cancer for three state cancer plans in my state. I have chosen to incorporate some of the information this wonderful advocate contributed to my state’s cancer plan in this article, as a tribute to her and her ongoing work as a childhood cancer advocate.
I hope this information provides our readers with more information and education on childhood cancer. I will leave the inspiring stories and experiences for the other articles you will see in this month’s NOU – including our own Jessica Meyer who is a 14-year old dynamo childhood cancer survivor– and leave you with knowledge, which as we know is power. Please share with others so that everyone is aware of childhood cancer.
Did You Know?
- According to the National Cancer Institute, childhood/adolescent cancer is the number one cause of death due to disease in children younger than 20 years of age.1
- Deaths from cancer exceed those related to cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, asthma, and AIDS combined, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.2
- The average age of diagnosis is six years old, resulting in the most years of life lost per person compared to all adult cancers.3
For national resources on childhood cancer, please visit some of the following websites:
While we try to teach our children all about life,
Our children teach us what life is all about.
Mom and coach of One Wheel Wonders performing unicycle team
- National Cancer Institute, cancer.gov
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cdc.gov
- National Cancer Institute Cancer Trends 2009-2012 progressreport.cancer.gov
- 2013-2017 Tennessee State Cancer Plan, https://www.tn.gov/health/topic/tccc