Childhood cancer remains the leading cause of death by disease among children in the United States. Every day, 43 children are diagnosed with cancer and the average age of diagnosis is 6. Cancer affects all ethnic, gender, and socio-economic groups and more than 40,000 children undergo treatment for cancer each year.
The causes of childhood cancers are largely unknown, and for the most part they cannot be prevented. A few conditions, such as Down syndrome, other specific chromosomal and genetic abnormalities, and ionizing radiation exposures, explain a small percentage of cases. Children with AIDS have an increased risk of developing certain cancers, predominantly non-Hodgkin lymphoma and Kaposi sarcoma.
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