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Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Governor John Kasich signed a proclamation recognizing September as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. During the observance, Ohioans are encouraged to become aware of childhood cancers and support research into its prevention and treatment.

Although childhood cancers are uncommon, cancer is the second leading cause of death among Ohio children. Each year, 345 cases of invasive cancer are diagnosed among Ohio children ages 14 years and under and 53 Ohio children die from cancer each year.

The types of cancers that develop in children are often different from those that develop in adults with the most frequent types being leukemia, brain and other central nervous system, kidney cancer, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

The causes of childhood cancer are largely unknown and there are few avoidable risk factors that are known to influence children’s risk of developing cancer. Early symptoms of childhood cancer are typically nonspecific; therefore, parents should make sure their children have regular checkups and need to be alert to any unusual symptoms that persist.

Many national and Ohio organizations have contributed to progress in the diagnosis and treatment of childhood cancers as well as support of children and their families. Major treatment in recent decades has resulted in 80% of children surviving 5 years or more after being diagnosed with cancer, although this varies with the cancer type. Still, childhood cancer survivors may have treatment-related side effects that require ongoing medical attention.

Last Review: 9/16/13