10 Things You Should Know About Childhood Cancer

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Every day, 42 families in the United States receive the difficult news that their child has cancer. Here are 10 things you should know:

1. Cancer is the second leading cause of death in children ages 1 to 14 (1).

2. Approximately 1 in 285 children in the U.S. will be diagnosed with cancer before the age of 20 (2).

3. In 2017, it is estimated that 10,270 children in the U.S. from birth to 14 years will be diagnosed with cancer (3).

4. Childhood cancers make up less than 1% of all cancers diagnosed each year (1).

5. The causes of most childhood cancers are unknown (3)

6. The most common childhood cancer is acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) (3)Meet Children’s Inn resident Bryce Greenwell who was diagnosed with ALL at just 6 years old.

7. Most pediatric cancer centers treat patients up to 20 years old (4).

8. If your child has cancer, s/he may be eligible to participate in a clinical trial at the NIH Clinical Center. Learn more here.

9. Thanks to advances in treatment, the five-year survival rate for children diagnosed with cancer has increased from 58% in the 1970s to 83% today (1, 5).

10. In fiscal year 2017, pediatric patients being treated at the National Cancer Institute at NIH spent 3,329 nights at The Children’s Inn free of charge.



  1. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-in-children/key-statistics.html#written_by
  2. http://childrenscancerfoundation.org/how-we-help/statistics/
  3. https://www.cancer.gov/types/childhood-cancers/child-adolescent-cancers-fact-sheet
  4. https://www.cancer.gov/types/childhood-cancers
  5. https://www.cancer.gov/news-events/cancer-currents-blog/2016/childhood-survivor-study