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Cancer kills more children than any other disease – more than asthma, cystic fibrosis, diabetes, and pediatric AIDS combined. All children are potentially at-risk because childhood cancers occur unpredictably and randomly, arising from non-inherited mutations.
Cancers in very young children are especially aggressive – 80% of children have metastasized cancer at the time of diagnosis compared to 20% in adults. The duration of chemotherapy treatment and type of drugs are dependent on the type of cancer the child has and his/her response to the drugs. Every child’s treatment differs, so a child may receive daily, weekly, or monthly chemotherapy treatments. Depending on the type of cancer and therapy plan, Rady Children’s become their home for days, weeks and even months at a time.
Treating frightened children with cancer, and their equally overwhelmed parents, requires a special approach. Since treatment regimens are long and arduous a specially-trained care team is needed: oncology physicians, infectious disease specialists, radiologists, pediatric surgeons, psychologists, nurses, child life specialists, social workers, parent liaisons and chaplains to name a few.
The good news is that at Rady Children's Peckham Center pediatric cancer is more treatable and survivable than ever before!
During the past 30 years, mortality rates have declined dramatically. The combined five-year survival rate for all childhood cancers has improved from less than 50% before the 1970’s to 80% today. For many childhood cancers, nearly all the children are cured thanks to your help and support.