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; 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!
Every year, September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month offers CCPI leaders, participants and community members an opportunity to bring attention to the need for action around childhood cancer prevention and to raise awareness about the environmental and toxic chemical factors that play a role in the disease. In 2022, the Childhood Cancer Prevention Initiative cast a wide net to amplify the stories of those affected by childhood cancer including survivors, family members, supportive leaders and businesses making the necessary changes to prevent more children from getting cancer. View the videos below.
It’s not too late; you can still share your story directly on social media by following these suggestions and using #PreventChildhoodCancer.
On September 20-24, 2021 leaders and community members came together for a week of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month panel sessions on various topics. See here for links to the recordings.
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
During the research and development stage of the Childhood Cancer: Cross-Sector Strategies for Prevention report, it became clear that there is a growing need to take action based on the alarming findings through a cross-sector effort to reduce toxic chemicals 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 Network — American 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.
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