International Childhood Cancer Day
Every year on February 15th, International Childhood Cancer Day (ICCD) seeks to spread awareness for childhood cancer. The day also encourages support for the families of children with cancer.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 300,000 children between the ages of 0 and 19 are diagnosed with cancer each year. Every three minutes, a child dies of cancer. Some of the most common types of childhood cancers include:
- Brain cancer
- Solid tumors, such as neuroblastoma
Healthcare professionals believe that early detection and proper medical care helps to prevent cancer deaths. In high-income countries, more than 80 percent of children with cancer are cured. In low and middle-income countries, the opposite is true. Only about 20 percent of children with cancer in these countries find a cure.
Finding a Cure
More needs to be done to help children in these low and middle-income countries survive cancer. It is a widely-held belief that every child with cancer deserves the best possible care, regardless of their culture, race, or social status.
To help more children survive childhood cancer, WHO has created a Global Initiative on Childhood Cancer. The goal of the initiative is to reach a 60 percent survival rate for children with cancer by 2030. Doing this would save one million lives. To achieve this goal, every country needs to provide quality services for children with cancer. There also needs to be an increased prioritization of childhood cancer at the national and global levels. Through advocacy, leveraged financing, and governance, WHO hopes to cure all children with cancer.
WHO believes a C.U.R.E. can be reached through:
- Center of Excellence and Care Networks
- Universal Health Coverage
- Regimens of Management
- Evaluation and Monitoring
The good news is this initiative can become a reality. Despite the prevalence of childhood cancers, they are highly curable.
International Childhood Cancer Day History
Childhood Cancer International created ICCD in 2002. Childhood Cancer International consists of a network of parent organizations in 90 countries.