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September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

​1 in 389 children in the U.S. will be diagnosed with cancer by age 15; learn what ACS is doing to help

Cancer doesn’t fight fair at any age, but it’s devastating when it occurs in children. Approximately 1 in 389 children in the U.S. will be diagnosed with cancer by age 15, and it is the leading cause of death in children and teens ages 1-19 in our nation. An estimated 11,050 children 14 and under will be diagnosed with cancer in the U.S. during 2020, and 1,190 will die from it. 

But the future is hopeful. The death rate for cancer in children ages 0-14 years declined by more than half from 1975 (4.9 per 100,000) to 2017 (2.0 per 100,000), largely due to improvements in treatment and high rates of participation in clinical trials. And ACS continues our efforts to attack childhood cancer on all fronts, leveraging our unique strengths in funding the best research, providing information and support for youth with cancer and their families, and working to improve access to care and the quality of life for childhood cancer patients and survivors.

This September, ACS is utilizing Childhood Cancer Awareness Month to raise funds for pediatric cancer research, including promotion of our #GoldTogether program and St. Baldrick’s partnership, and to raise awareness of the partnerships we have to make an impact on childhood cancer. 

The #GoldTogether Movement

#GoldTogether for childhood cancer is a national Relay For Life program that specifically raises funds to support childhood cancer research, support services, and awareness, as well as, cancer prevention efforts. It also increases awareness of childhood cancer, the impact it has on survivors and their families, and available support services. 

With more than 200 teams, the #GoldTogether movement connects and empowers children and families impacted by cancer. It creates a community within the Relay For Life community where children and families can share their stories and learn more about caregiver resources and new research, treatments, and support services that may positively impact their lives. 

To date, #GoldTogether has raised $1,000,000 for childhood cancer. New this year is the #GoldTogether Champion Campaign. During the month of September and throughout the year, #GoldTogether Champions will virtually unite to make a greater impact and secure better outcomes for kids with cancer. Champions will utilize their social media to raise awareness and raise funds to support childhood cancer. To support #GoldTogether, become a champion and start or join a team, visit relayforlife.org/goldtogether

ACS and the St. Baldrick’s Foundation 

ACS and the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, the largest private funder of childhood cancer research grants, are engaged in a partnership to raise funds that can amplify our impact on childhood cancer and support the most promising research. ACS and the St. Baldrick’s Foundation will work together to fund and manage a grant-making program to invest in the most creative biological and clinical laboratory studies that have the greatest potential to quickly deliver new and improved care for children.

The goal is to raise $11 million to fund this innovative research. Requests for applications were initiated on July 1, 2020 when the campaign reached the point of $4.1 million raised.  Grants will be funded beginning July 1, 2021. All additional dollars raised in 2020 will go towards the applications that will be funded in 2021. Together we will focus on innovative projects that have the greatest potential to bring novel advances to childhood cancer patients. To learn more, visit cancer.org/stbaldricks.

Partnering to increase pediatric cancer research

ACS is leading and funding research that helps us better understand childhood cancers and develop effective therapies that do not compromise the quality of life of the child and his or her family during and following treatment. As of March 1, 2020, we are supporting 60 active, multi-year research grants, for a total of $34,000,000 specific to childhood cancer. Learn more about what we’re doing to save lives and prevent suffering from cancer at every age and every stage at cancer.org/childhood.

ACS CAN actively engaged in advancing policy

ACS CAN supports policies that advance the childhood cancer agenda and seek to improve access to quality care, and plays an important role as convener, bringing the childhood cancer community together to focus on issues that can make the greatest impact.

ACS CAN is working to advance the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (PCHETA), S. 2080, PCHETA, which will improve palliative care training for health providers, establish a national campaign to educate patients, and expand NIH research to improve the delivery of palliative care. Palliative care is vital to childhood cancer patients, survivors, and their families because it provides an extra layer of support, regardless of the stage of cancer or time since diagnosis, and involves team-based comprehensive care. Expanded access to palliative care will help improve the quality of life for more childhood cancer patients and survivors.  

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