Wednesday, September 9, 2009

September (For Erin)

In August, I posted a list of random facts about the month of August and its history because it was my birthday month and all. Well, as Maggie suggested, I should do something like that for every month. I was going to do September today and I read a post by Vickie about the importance of September. September is
Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month. She had a fact sheet posted about a certain type of pediatric cancer called Neuroblastoma and some information about a fundraiser that Erin started to raise money for research. I don't think she'll mind if I copy and post it! The type that her her daughter, Erin, lived with for several years. I have followed Erin's story and I thought that I would post Vickie's fact sheet to spread the word and encourage you to get involved, even if it is just by reading Erin's story and getting to know what an awesome person she was and experience the ripples her too-short life is still leaving! So, here are my September facts (for Erin).
Neuroblastoma Cancer Fact Sheet

What is Neuroblastoma?

Neuroblastoma is a common but overlooked cancer in kids. It is a cancer of the sympathetic nervous system,
and usually presents as a solid, malignant tumor that manifests as a lump or mass in the abdomen or around the
spinal cord in the chest, neck, or pelvis. Neuroblastoma is often present at birth, but is most often diagnosed
much later when the child begins to show symptoms of the disease. In the majority of cases (73%),
neuroblastoma has already spread to areas outside of the original site at the time of diagnosis.

Some Statistics about Neuroblastoma:

* 5%-7% of all childhood malignancies, but 15% of pediatric cancer deaths

* about 1 in 6000 children will be diagnosed with neuroblastoma by the age of five

* The average age at diagnosis is two

* About 25% of newly diagnosed neuroblastomas are found in children under the age of one

* Children under the age of one have a cure rate as high as 90%

* Children with high risk disease have a five-year survival rate of around 55%

* Relapsed neuroblastoma has no known cure.

Why does Erin’s Dream Lanyards raise money for neuroblastoma research?

* Over the past two decades, only TWO new cancer drugs have been approved for pediatric use.

* Only 3% of the National Cancer Institute Budget goes toward Pediatric Cancer Research.

* 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 at diagnosis.

* There are 15 children diagnosed with cancer for every one child diagnosed with pediatric AIDS. Yet, the U.S. invests approximately $595,000 for research per victim of pediatric AIDS and only $20,000 for each victim of childhood cancer.

* Research funds are scarce as most money is diverted to well-publicized adult forms of cancer, such as breast and prostate.

* In 2005, the American Cancer Society provided only 2.5% of funded grants, or 1.85% of dollars spent on research to pediatric cancer.

1 comment:

  1. Becky, Thank you for posting this. It's important, though sad.

    I did want to make a correction when I did a little more research: there are actually two new pediatric cancer drugs, not just one. Not much better, but I didn't want to give out wrong information.