September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, which is an opportunity for everyone to cooperate with their community, as well as the government and other non-profit organizations in order to reduce cancer rates in children, while a cure is still elusive.
Childhood cancer, in general, have more or less stable rates. As a matter of fact, there has been much progress on research concerning childhood cancer. Results of various treatment have notable improvements, while clinical trials have experienced an increase in the number of participants with successful outcomes. Childhood cancer mortality rates have decreased by well over 50 percent in just three decades, which is a truly remarkable feat.
Number of Two Types of Cancer Cases Rising in Children
Just recently, however, there have been reports that two types of childhood have increased in
recent years, which are thyroid and kidney cancers. Both of these types are rare types of childhood cancer, which is why medical professionals are eager to find out what is causing the rise in kidney and thyroid cancer cases. Some experts have begun to speculate on the possible connection of obesity to the increase in rate.
When all types of cancer cases are combined, there are about 171 cases of childhood cancers per million children. The rate has remained stable starting from year 2001 to year 2009. Now there is a slight increase among black children and adolescents, which is what researchers from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have reported.
Based on the timeframe of the study, there have been more or less 120,000 new cancer diagnoses among infants and children that are aged one to nineteen years. Children diagnosed with for thyroid cancer almost reached 5,000, showing an increase in the rate from approximately six cases per million children to a staggering eight per million children in 2009.
The federal CDC researchers have stated, however, that they only used data until 2009 because more recent data after that year contained some inconsistencies that need to be re-analyzed and confirmed first.
On the other hand, there were 426 cases from 2001 to 2009, which means there are about 0.5 cases per million children to 0.7 cases per million children.
Linking Increase in Childhood Cancer Rates to Obesity
There are quite a number of studies that have shown how both the increased thyroid and kidney cancer cases in children might be caused by rising obesity rates. Like these two types of cancers, childhood obesity has also increased over the years. This is why the authors of the study wants to determine whether there is a connection between the rise of both obesity and cancer rates.
Dr. David Siegel, who is co-author of the said study, has reported to CBS News that thyroid cancer in indeed increasing in adults and that it is associated, although not caused, by obesity. He also highlighted, however, that the rise in both cancers were quite small and that the risk for children to develop cancer remains low.
In Duarte, California, Dr. Raynald Samoa of the City of Hope Hospital has also noticed the a dramatic increase in two of childhood cancer cases, with over about almost double of the usual number of referrals in several years. Common types of childhood cancer such as leukemia and brain tumors have generally stable rates, which keeps the overall rate of cancer even, despite the growth spurt of kidney and thyroid cancer cases.
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