- Neuroblastoma is a common and often difficult to treat cancer, the most common cancer in infancy.
- In the US, approximately 700 children and adolescents are diagnosed with tumors of the sympathetic nervous system each year, of which approximately 650 are neuroblastomas.
- There is no known cure for relapsed neuroblastoma.
- Every 16 hours a child with neuroblastoma dies.
FACTS ON CHILDHOOD CANCER
- Cancer is the #1 disease killer in children in the U.S.
- Cancer kills more children than AIDs, asthma, diabetes, cystic fibrosis and congenital anomalies combined.
- 13,500 children ages 19 and under are diagnosed each year in the US.
- 36 children are diagnosed every day in the U.S.
- The causes of most childhood cancers are unknown. At present, childhood cancer cannot be prevented.
- Cancers in very young children are highly aggressive and behave unlike malignant diseases at other times in life.
- 80% of children have metastasized cancer at the time of their diagnosis. At diagnosis, only 20% of adults with cancer show evidence that the disease has spread or metastasized.
- 74% of childhood cancer survivors have chronic illnesses, and some 40% of childhood cancer survivors have severe illnesses or die from such illnesses.
- Sadly, over 2,300 children with cancer die each year.
- The average age of death for a child with cancer is 8, causing a childhood cancer victim to lose 69 years of expected life years; a significant loss of productivity to society.
FACTS ON CANCER RESEARCH FUNDING
- The National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) federal budget was $4.6 billion. Of that, breast cancer received 12%, prostate cancer received 7%, and all 12 major groups of pediatric cancers combined received less than 3%.
- About 60% of all funding for drug development in adult cancers comes from pharmaceutical companies. Almost no drugs are developed for kids because childhood cancer drugs are not profitable.
- Breast cancer has an overall 5 year survival rate of close to 90%. Research for breast cancer received $843 million in Federal research funding in 2007. In comparison, childhood cancer research funding has been estimated to be as low as $30 million annually, but sadly, their survival rates can be as low as 50-60%.
FINANCIAL BURDENS FOR FAMILIES OF CHILDREN WITH CANCER
- Gifts from family/friends and fundraisers are the most common form of financial assistance for families afflicted with cancer to help offset the burden of medical costs.
- More than 60% of families reported spending $1000-$10,000 OUT OF POCKET on additional non-medical expenses such as hospital parking, transportation, lodging, childcare, educational services, meals away from home, tutoring, etc..
- Many families spend thousands of dollars out of pocket on additional medical expenses not covered by insurance including co-pays, home care, maximum lifetime caps, genetic testing, alternative therapies, nutritional supplements, etc…