10 childhood cancer facts

Childhood cancer fact: Childhood cancers make up less than 1% of all cancers diagnosed each year, accounting for about 10,500 children in the United States under the age of 15.

Childhood cancer fact: Childhood cancers make up less than 1% of all cancers diagnosed each year, accounting for about 10,500 children in the United States under the age of 15.

Childhood cancer rates have been on the rise for the past few decades. Here are some facts:

10 childhood cancer facts

  • After accidents, cancer is the second-leading cause of death in children ages 1 to 14, according to the American Cancer Society.
  • One in 285 children will be diagnosed with cancer before their 20th birthday.
  • According to the World Health Organization, the vast majority of childhood cancers do not have a known cause. Unlike many cancers in adults, childhood cancers are not strongly linked to lifestyle or environmental risk factors. Very few childhood cancers are caused by genetic DNA mutations.
  • There are over a dozen types of childhood cancer and hundreds of different subtypes:
  • Less than 10 drugs have been developed for use in children with cancer since 1980. Only three drugs (teniposide and clofarabine, and Unituxin for use in high-risk neuroblastoma) have been approved for use in children. Only four additional new drugs have been approved for use by both adults and children.
  • Of children who survive cancer, 60% experience late effects, such as infertility, heart failure and secondary cancers.
  • The five-year survival rate for children younger than 15 with cancer has grown from 58% in the 1970s to 84%. There are approximately 500,000 adult survivors of childhood cancer in the country.
  • The average age of diagnosis with childhood cancer is 8.
  • In 80% of kids with cancer, the cancer already has spread to other areas of the body by the time of diagnosis.
  • One in 5 children diagnosed with cancer in the U.S. will not survive. Approximately 1,800 children and adolescents still die of cancer each year, indicating that new advances and continued research to find effective treatments are needed.

Norton Children’s Cancer Institute

Offering comprehensive cancer care to families in Kentucky, Southern Indiana and beyond.

Call (502) 629-7725

Facts about cancer care at Norton Children’s

Norton Children’s Cancer Institute, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine, was formed by combining the resources of the Addison Jo Blair Cancer Care Center at Norton Children’s Hospital with Norton Cancer Institute.

  • Norton Children’s Hospital’s cancer care program is one of the oldest oncology programs in the U.S. that has been continuously accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer.
  • More than 3,000 children and adolescents receive care from Norton Children’s Cancer Institute each year; patients come from 90 counties in Kentucky and Southern Indiana.
  • Norton Children’s Cancer Institute provides chemotherapy treatments for more than 300 patients each year.
  • We treat more than 400 unique sickle cell patients annually.
  • Norton Children’s Cancer Institute provides the region with the latest advancements in pediatric cancer care and programs. We treat all forms of pediatric cancer and blood disorders. Norton Children’s Cancer Institute is home to:
    • Kentucky’s leading multidisciplinary pediatric brain tumor program
    • Kentucky’s leading pediatric blood and marrow transplant program
    • Kentucky’s only stem cell transplant program specifically for children
    • Only pediatric cancer program in Kentucky approved as a CAR-T cell therapy provider site
    • Kentucky’s only pediatric apheresis and photopheresis programs
    • An immunotherapy program, including CAR T-cell therapy
    • One of the country’s largest sickle cell anemia treatment programs
    • Kentucky’s leading adolescent and young adult program and transition clinic
    • Life after cancer survivorship program
    • Pediatric bleeding and clotting program (hemostasis and thrombosis)


Norton Children's Hospital

Location Details

Norton Children's Cancer Institute – Novak Center

Location Details

Norton Children’s Cancer Institute

Advanced pediatric cancer care.

(502) 629-7725

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