A child is diagnosed with cancer every two minutes – WHO agency

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Childhood cancer is a public health problem. Pic:: St. Baldrick’s Foundation

Approximately 300,000 children ages zero to 19 are diagnosed with pediatric cancers worldwide each year, based on initial estimates by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the specialized cancer agency of the World Health Organization (WHO) and supported by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC). This works out to a child being diagnosed with cancer every two minutes,.

The St. Baldrick’s Foundation, the largest private funder of childhood cancer research grants in the United States, works to raise awareness of childhood cancer after new statistics are reported.  As a result, and building on that research, the St. Baldrick’s Foundation is spreading awareness of these new insights and data, which provide further evidence of the ongoing need for childhood cancer research funding.

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“The St. Baldrick’s Foundation values the new insights that WHO and IARC has provided, showing a more accurate view of the impact of childhood cancers worldwide,” says Becky Chapman Weaver, chief mission officer of the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. “We now know that every two minutes a child is diagnosed with cancer worldwide, rather than every three minutes as was thought from previous studies.  Until now, we have all underestimated just how many kids are affected by cancer.  We must continue to invest in cures for all childhood cancers.”

The new estimated global number of cases is a significant difference from the nearly 165,000 diagnoses per year previously reported. The 165,000 statistic previously used included data on children ages zero to 14 years only, while the new estimates raise this number to 215,000 and an additional 85,000 teenagers of ages 15–19 years. This research includes a more precise and high-quality sample than ever before, and the results reveal a more accurate depiction of the number of kids diagnosed each year in all age ranges.

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“Childhood cancer is a public health problem, and more resources and research are needed to improve diagnosis, treatment and infrastructure,” says Dr. Eva Steliarova-Foucher, a scientist in IARC’s Section of Cancer Surveillance. “Currently, many world regions still either have no information on the cancer burden in children or lack adequate resources to provide high-quality information. We are happy to see cancer research funders raise awareness of the true impact of childhood cancers and are encouraged by the acknowledgment of the St. Baldrick’s Foundation of the importance of accurate information for its mission to conquer childhood cancers.”

The St. Baldrick’s Foundation is eager to share the updated statistic with the public, its dedicated researchers, volunteers and the community, as it serves as a reminder of the pressing need for funding of childhood cancer research, which is largely underfunded by the U.S. federal government, it said in a statement – PRNewswire

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