This time of year, families flock to beaches and parks to make the most of the glorious summer weather. Others escape the heat in air-conditioned cinemas, enjoying the seasonal offering of children’s movies. Everyone relaxes and gets into the holiday groove. But spare a thought for families who can’t enjoy the holidays, who are fighting childhood cancer.
It’s a sad fact that, even in 2017, cancer will still kill more Australian children than any other disease.
- More than 950 children and adolescents are diagnosed with cancer every year in Australia.
- 8 out of 10 of these children will now survive, whereas 60 years ago cancer was considered a death sentence.
- 70% of childhood cancer survivors will experience some side effects from treatment. For 40% of survivors, these side effects will be long term.
While survival rates for childhood cancer have improved significantly over the years, an 8 out of 10 survival rate is still not good enough. Nothing less than 10 out of 10 will do. What’s more, for children who do survive their cancer, it can come at the cost of debilitating, often long term side effects.
This is why our researchers are back in the lab, re-energised from their summer holidays, and keen to continue their research. Their aim is not just to make a survival rate of 10 out of 10 a reality but to reduce the toxic side effects of cancer treatment, improving quality of life for childhood cancer survivors. Then every kid’s summer can be fun!