Although cure rates are steadily increasing, 35% of children will die.
Neuroblastoma tumors are the second most common type of solid tumor found in children (second only to brain tumors).
The incidence rate for all sympathetic nervous system cancers was 9.5 per million children.
Neuroblastoma accounts for 14% of all cancers in children younger than five years of age.
Nearly 70% of those children first diagnosed have disease that has already metastasized or spread to other parts of the body.
The average age at diagnosis is two years old.
Facts About Childhood Cancer
Cancer remains the number one disease killer of children; more than genetic anomalies, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, and AIDS combined.
Each year in the U.S., approximately 12,500 children and adolescents are diagnosed with cancer (around 35 a day).
One in 330 children will develop cancer by age 20.
Cancer in childhood occurs regularly, randomly, and spares no ethnic group, socioeconomic class, or geographic region.
Childhood cancer is not a single disease, but rather many different types that fall into 12 major categories. Common adult cancers are extremely rare in children, yet many cancers are almost exclusively found in children.
The cause of most childhood cancers are unknown and at present, cannot be prevented. (Most adult cancers result from lifestyle factors such as smoking, diet, occupation, and other exposure to cancer-causing agents).
Attempts to detect childhood cancers at an earlier stage, when the disease would react more favorably to treatment, have largely failed. Young patients often have a more advanced stage of cancer when first diagnosed. (Approximately 20% of adults with cancer show evidence the disease has spread, yet almost 80% of children show that the cancer has spread to distant sites at the time of diagnosis).
When cancer strikes children, it behaves differently from cancer in adults. Children frequently have a more advanced stage of cancer when they are first diagnosed.