According to the National Cancer Institute, cancer is the leading cause of death in kids older than infancy in America. Everyday approximately 43 kids will be diagnosed with cancer and about 12 percent of them do not survive. But new federal data reveals a glimmer of good news: Significantly fewer children and adolescents are dying from it these days.
The report, courtesy of the U.S. Center’s For Disease Control And Prevention’s National Health Center For Health Statistics, found that the amount of deaths from cancer among kids and teens dropped 20 percent since 1999. The findings showed that in 1999, 2006, and 2014 teens between 15 and 19 had the highest cancer death rates of all age groups, and those rates dropped 22 percent during that time period as well. Cancer deaths decreased in both boys and girls across all 5 age groups, although the death rate among boys is 30 percent higher than girls.
Allow the American Cancer Society to put it another way: the survival rate for pediatric cancer is up 80 percent overall, compared to 58 percent in the 1970s. For acute lymphoblastic leukemia — the most common type of cancer in children — survival rates are up 90 percent. That’s huge news and cause for celebration, but this is still cancer and kids, so let’s keep it muted until it’s at 100 percent.