09-12-2011 (Dayton, OH) -
Each year more than 40,000 children undergo treatment for cancer. In the last 40 years, the overall survival rate for children’s cancer has increased from 10 percent to 78 percent. In order to raise awareness and continue the fight against this deadly disease, the month of September has been named National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
While treatments for childhood cancer have greatly improved over the past decades, cancer is still the leading cause of death by disease for children in America under the age of 15. The Comprehensive Care Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders is one of only 11 accredited pediatric cancer care programs in the nation housed in a freestanding children’s hospital. In 2010, Dayton Children’s saw 41 newly diagnosed cases of cancer. Currently, the hematology and oncology specialists at Dayton Children’s see over 400 patients for either therapy treatment or followup appointments.
In order to provide the best care to children in the Dayton region, the team at Dayton Children’s is part of the Children’s Oncology Group (COG) and follows national approved protocols for cancer treatment. Colin Beach, 11, one of this year’s child ambassadors for Dayton Children’s has experienced this firsthand.
At 5-months-old Colin was diagnosed with a rare condition in which malignant tumors developed in the retina of his eyes. It most often develops in children under the age of 5 and puts the child at high risk for developing other cancers. Colin’s bilateral hereditary retinoblastoma has included 11 eye tumors and lifelong blindness in one of his eyes. In order to treat this rare disease, Colin’s doctor, Mukund Dole, MD, works closely with others in the COG to provide Colin with the care and treatment that he needs as he undergoes long-term cancer treatment at Dayton Children’s.
While Colin’s cancer is very rare, the most common form seen both nationally and at Dayton Children’s is leukemia; making up more than one-third of all childhood cancer cases. Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is the most common childhood cancer and accounts for almost 80 percent of all childhood leukemia cases. The overall survival rate for ALL is currently 45 to 60 percent.
“Too many children and their families have faced the harmful effects of cancer;” says President Barack Obama in his proclamation naming September National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. “In memory of the young lives taken from us far too soon, and in honor of the families who stood beside them, we continue to support researchers, doctors, and advocates working to improve treatments, find cure, and reach a tomorrow where all our children can lead full and healthy lives.”
For more information on how to help raise awareness about childhood cancer during the month of September and the rest of the year, please visit www.curesearch.org. CureSearch for Children’s Cancer is a national non-profit foundation whose mission is to fund and support children’s cancer research and provide information and resources to all those affected by children’s cancer. On Saturday, September 17, 2011, the CureSearch walk will take place in Dayton at Eastwood Metro Park. For more information, visit www.curesearchwalk.org/dayton.
About the Children’s Oncology Group
Dayton Children’s is one of more than 200 COG hospitals worldwide. COG research has turned children’s cancer from a virtually incurable disease 40 years ago to one with an overall cure rate of 78 percent. COG hospitals treat 90 percent of children with cancer in the Unites States providing the unmatched combination of global expertise and local care. This means that every child and care team has complete access to the latest research and world-class treatments at hospitals within their region. For more information visit www.curesearch.org.
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