September is deemed Childhood Cancer Awareness month by the Canadian Cancer Society and is a time for us to educate ourselves and each other about childhood cancer. Because of the research and awareness consistently being raised, 78% of the 1500 kids diagnosed in Canada this year will survive 5 years or more, an increase of 46% since the early 1960s.
Let’s spread the word to research and discover more about how we can help beat it altogether.
Cancer occurs when cells grow and spread quickly without stopping, spreading into surrounding body tissues. Normal cells grow and divide to form new cells as the body needs them. Cancerous cells can be invasive, damaging the body as it spreads and weakening the body’s defense systems. Cancer is a genetic disease and is caused by changes to genes that control how cells function. It can be inherited from our parents or occur in our life when errors occur in cell division or when we are exposed to elements that damage our DNA like radiation and tobacco smoke. There are hundreds of different types of cancer, you can read more about them here.
There are many different types of childhood cancers and subtypes that make it challenging to find cures for every different child. Some cancers don’t even occur in children after the age of 5 and some only in teens. The types of cancers that occur in kids vary from adults, occurring in different parts of the body and responding completely differently to treatment. You can read about more facts about childhood cancer at: http://childhoodcancer.ca/education/facts_figures
- Make a donation – the simplest way to ensure that research continues. There are many organizations you can donate to, likehttp://childhoodcancer.ca/get-involved/donate-foundation.
- Hold a fundraiser - Think up some creative ideas! This site is a great place to plan your fundraiser. http://www.stbaldricks.org/do-what-you-want.
- Volunteer – there are many organizations and events that need volunteers to keep charities and services going. Ask how you can help
& keep the conversation going! Spread the word about the facts and realities of childhood cancer. The more awareness and funding raised will give every child better hope for a cure.