Childhood cancer remains the leading cause of death by disease among children in the United States. Every day, 42 children aged 0-19 are diagnosed with cancer and the average age of diagnosis is 10. Cancer affects all ethnic, gender, and socio-economic groups and more than 40,000 children undergo treatment for cancer each year.



Source: NCCR*Explorer: An interactive website for NCCR cancer statistics [Internet]. National Cancer Institute. [Cited 2021 October 30]. Available from


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.

View our other childhood cancer statistics charts and graphics:


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