Childhood cancer is a tragic happening, a threatening of a life finished before it began. 10000 children from ages 1-14 will be diagnosed with cancer this year, with 1200 dying from the disease. These cancers are separate from all others both in terms of diagnosis and treatment – the strength of a human child is obviously different from that of an adult, and as such one must take extra precautions to make sure no harm is done. Clinical trials are inherently risky, which shreds the innovation that should normally be found in a disease like this. The largest childhood cancer is leukemia, a blood/bone marrow cancer. This disease accounts for 30% of the total cancers for children. Leukemia causes severe bone/joint pain, fatigue, weakness – part of its inherent tragedy is how the disease robs children of the essentials of youth. Many of these cancers have risk factors that are exclusively genetic – there’s no way to prevent the childhood cancers that occur. Thankfully, the community that surrounds childhood cancers are supportive. Support groups for kids and parents alike make the experience easier for both, and new technologies are being invented every day for the same sake. For example, immunotherapy, or the ability to stimulate the immune system, has shown significant growth in the last 5 years. Hope is a key element to surviving these diseases – this concept is shown repeatedly with the marches and meetups that come with having a child with cancer. This includes St. Baldrick's, a program that involves people shaving their head in support. If you want to support this same cause, buy one of these goldenrod-colored wristbands and show your commitment!
Written by Michele Wheat