Childhood cancer remains the leading cause of death by disease among children in the United States. Every day, 45 children age 0-19 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.
Source: Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program (seer.cancer.gov)
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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