- Each year, over 950 children and adolescents (0-19 year olds) in Australia4 – and 163,000 children worldwide3 – are diagnosed with cancer.
- Cancer incidence among Australian children and adolescents is higher in boys (average of 567 per year) than in girls (average of 453 per year).4
- One-third of cancers in children and adolescents are diagnosed in children aged 0–4.4
- Every week, nearly 3 children and adolescents in Australia4 – and 1,500 children worldwide3 – die from cancer.
- 40% of deaths result from tumours of the central nervous system (including brain tumours), 23% from leukaemia and 11% from neuroblastoma.8
- Sixty years ago, cancer was nearly always a death sentence for a child.5 Today, 8 out of 10 children survive.1 However, these improvements are not even across cancer types. Survival rates for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia are now 90%, but brain cancer survival rates have sat at about 50% for decades.1
- More than 20,000 young Australians have survived childhood cancer but 4 out of 5 experience at least one physical or mental health issue - so-called 'late effects' of treatment. Physical effects include heart disease, osteoporosis and obesity. Psychological effects such as anxiety and depression are reported by almost 50% of survivors.6
- The most common childhood cancers in Australia are acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, brain cancer and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.1
- Unlike many adult cancers, childhood cancer is not associated with lifestyle and nothing can be done to prevent it.7
- Individual causes remain unknown for more than 90 per cent of childhood cancer cases.7
- Almost half of all childhood cancer begins in the womb.7
- Childhood cancer does not discriminate. It can affect any child from any socioeconomic or cultural background.7
- Children’s Cancer Institute is the only independent medical research institute in Australia wholly dedicated to finding a cure for childhood cancer.
- Advances in knowledge and treatment found through medical research have delivered the improved survival rates we see today.
- Only medical research will give hope to the tens of thousands children worldwide who are diagnosed with cancer each year.
- Every child is unique, every cancer is different, so the cure has to be targeted for each individual.
- We believe personalised medicine is the key to improving survival, saving lives and giving children with cancer the best possible quality of life.
- ‘A picture of Australia’s children’, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2012. Cat. No. PHE 167. AIHW: Canberra (pdf, 5.7MB)
- ‘Childhood cancer mortality in Australia’, Youlden et al 2012. Cancer Epidemiology 36(5):476-480
- ‘Global Cancer Facts and Figures’, 3rd edition, 2012 (pdf, 7.8MB)
- 0-19 years incidence data. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) Australian Cancer Incidence and Mortality (ACIM) Books 2017, Accessed 3 March 2017.
- ‘Children’s cancers: working towards cures’ (pdf, 910KB), Cancer Research UK, 2014
- ‘New data: more than 8 out of 10 childhood cancer survivors struggle with health problems later in life’, Cancer Council NSW, 2016
- ‘Children and Cancer, in Children’s Health and the Environment’, a WHO Training Package for the Health Sector, World Health Organization, 2009 (pdf 810KB)
- Summary of Childhood Cancer (Ages 0-14) in Australia, 2014 (pdf, 390KB)