Childhood Cancers Are on The Rise

Did you know that cancer is the leading cause of death by disease among children in the United States?

While it’s true that fewer children are dying of cancer than in the past, the rate of children being diagnosed with cancer has actually increased. Between 1975 and 2017, incidence rates among those under age 20 increased by 34 percent (as noted in the Childhood Cancer: Cross-Sector Strategies for Prevention report). However, this upward trend continues; new data from 2018 from the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance Epidemiologic End Results Program shows that this number now has increased to 41 percent (annual percent change of 0.8%). We need to act now to end the use of toxic chemicals associated with cancers where children live, learn and play.

Due to the significant increase in the rate of childhood cancers, a team of over 60 stakeholders and leaders in the Health, Science, Business, Policy and Advocacy sectors collaborated on the report: Childhood Cancer: Cross-Sector Strategies for Prevention. 

Because of the important work of leading scientists and health professionals, we know that toxic chemicals in the environment and in the places where children live, learn and play are important risk factors for cancer, and that genetics alone cannot explain the rate of increase. It’s time to take action!

Leaders and community members came together September 20-24, 2021 for a week of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month panel sessions on various topics. See here for links to the recordings. 

Play Video

We do not know which of these 85,000-plus chemicals may be driving increases in the incidence of childhood cancers. We are flying blind with no instruments. We must act now on the urgent need to confront the rising incidence of cancer in America’s children. We need to launch a National Cancer Prevention Plan—a second front on the War on Cancer—a powerful program of intervention against the root causes of childhood cancer that will complement and sustain the great advances we have made in cancer treatment.

— Philip J. Landrigan, MD, MSc, FAAP Director, Program in Global Public Health and the Common Good, Boston College Director, Global Observatory on Pollution and Health Professor of Biology, Schiller Institute for Integrated Science and Society, Boston College Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics and Preventive Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Tweet

Sufficient Evidence Warrants Preventative Actions

During the research and development stage of this seminal report, it became clear that there is a growing need to take action based on these alarming findings through a cross-sector effort to reduce toxics in the form of a National Childhood Cancer Prevention Initiative and Plan.

The Childhood Cancer Prevention Initiative is a growing cross-sector collaboration taking on this important work that includes members of the Cancer Free Economy NetworkAmerican Sustainable Business Network, Center for Environmental Health, Children’s Environmental Health Network, Clean & Healthy New York, Clean Production Action, and the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production — as well as Helen R. Walton Children’s Enrichment Center, MadeSafe, Naturepedic, PREP4Gold, Toxic Free Future for Our Children and more.

You Can Make a Difference Today

  1.  Donate to support our work to reduce the number of children and families facing this devastating diagnosis. Donations will be made through the Cancer Free Economy Network’s fiscal host, Clean Production Action, a 501(c)3 organization;

  2.    Save-the-date and join us for our anniversary week of events — September 20-24, 2021 — See here for more information. 
  3.    Produce and purchase safer chemicals and products;
  4.    Invest in prevention research;
  5.    Advance public policy to incentivize safer chemicals and products;
  6.    Support and expand regulations to reduce known causes;
  7.    Share the Childhood Cancer Prevention Video to start a conversation with your friends and family;
  8.   Use our Social Media Toolkit and share messages of support using #PreventChildhoodCancer in your social media posts to call attention to these critical efforts, and follow our progress;
  9.   Download and share the One Pager in English and Español.

Please sign on at American Sustainable Business Network (ASBN) to support:

  • Securing funding for cancer prevention research;
  • Monitoring children’s exposures to toxic chemicals and pollution;
  • Ensuring that all children have access to schools, playgrounds and childcare settings that are free from toxic substances.
  • Businesses that create and use safer chemicals and products that don’t cause cancer or other illnesses for children.
  • Public policies to regulate toxic chemicals and incentivize safe chemicals, materials and products. 

© 2021 – Cancer Free Economy Network

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Help Prevent Childhood Cancer


Your story is powerful and needs to be heard! 

This September, during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, CCPI will uplift the stories of communities and families affected by childhood cancer. To share your story, simply send us a short video or your picture and a short paragraph telling your story. 

For more information, ideas and formatting info click here.

Know someone with a story to share? Please let them know CCPI is gathering stories. 

Your support helps us prevent cancer during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and all year long.

Donate here


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