About Childhood Cancer

Childhood Cancer is fundamentally different to adult cancer. Cancer in children and young adults is vastly different from cancer that develops in adults. The drivers of pediatric and adolescent/young adult (AYA) cancer require different research, different therapies, and long-term techniques to keep patients healthy for decades to come.


diagnosis facts

  • Childhood cancer is not one disease - there are more than 12 major types of pediatric cancers and over 100 subtypes. (1)
  • In 2023, it is estimated 9,910 children (birth to 14 years) and 5,280 adolescents (aged 15-19 years) will be diagnosed with cancer. (1A)
    • In 2022, there were approximately 87,050 cancer cases diagnosed and about 9,180 cancer deaths in adolescents and young adults (AYAs) ages 15 to 39 years in the US. (40)

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    The overall incidence of childhood cancer is on the increase, averaging 0.8% increase per year since 1975.

    Children (0-14) increased 0.8%, and adolescents also increased 0.8%.

    Overall cancer incidence rates increased an average of 1% per year from 1997 to 2018.

    long term health-effects facts

    • Cancer treatments may harm the body's organs, tissues, or bones and cause health problems later in life. These health problems are called late effects as a result of surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and/or stem cell transplant. Late effects in childhood cancer survivors affect the body and mind. Late effects may affect organs, tissues, body function, growth and development. Other late affects are mood, feelings and actions thinking, learning, and memory as well as social and psychological adjustment. Late effects also have a risk of second cancers. (39)

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        The chance of having late effects increases over time. New treatments for childhood cancer have decreased the number of deaths from the primary cancer. Because childhood cancer survivors are living longer, they are having more late effects after cancer treatment. Survivors may not live as long as people who did not have cancer. The most common causes of death in childhood cancer survivors are: The primary cancer comes back or a second (different) primary cancer forms or there is heart and lung damage.

        We Can Do Better

        This is why for more than a decade, Beat Childhood Cancer has funded and built a precision medicine program aimed at finding better treatments by fueling the next generation of less-toxic therapies and, ultimately, cures.

        Fund. Find. Fuel.

        We have the opportunity, the knowledge, and the power to beat childhood cancer.

        While every cancer and every patient is unique, the expectation is that the lessons learned from one cancer will broaden the knowledge to help every child, everywhere.


        Join the fight for every child by giving today.


        See what innovative BCC research looks like.


        Together we can do so much more for kids.

        *All statistics compiled from the latest complete data year of 2022. This fact library is provided by CAC2, the Coalition Against Childhood Cancer.