Every year, more than 950 Australian children and adolescents are diagnosed with cancer, with one third of those affected aged 0-4 years. Tragically, three of these children lose their lives to cancer every week.
September is International Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, which works to raise awareness of the need for improved diagnosis and treatment for childhood cancer, and to provide support and funding for affected children and their families.
While we often hear about the links between lifestyle factors such as smoking and obesity on cancer in adults, the cause of children’s cancers are often difficult to identify and can be due to random genetic changes in cells’ DNA very early in life, sometimes even before birth.
Current treatments for childhood cancers can have ongoing negative impacts, with more than 4-in-5 cancer survivors developing at least one life-changing mental or physical health issue as a result of treatment they received as a child.
For many years, VIVA! has proudly partnered with patient organisations, such as Leukaemia Foundation and The Genetic Alliance Australia, who help to raise awareness for and support children affected by cancer and their families and look forward to continuing to partner with such inspiring communities.