Saturday, September 29, 2012


This graphic shows the true long term outcome of childhood cancer, with a 30 year span. While 20% of patients die within 5 years of diagnosis, an additional 14% die of their cancer 6-30 years of diagnosis. 19% of patients suffer life threatening or severe health problems, and an additional 25% suffer mild to moderate health problems. That leaves a mere 22% of children living a normal life after treatment, meaning they survive at least 30 years, and have no health problems related to their treatment. Only 22%.
These 22% of kids, about 2900 of the 13500 kids diagnosed yearly, will go on to live a "normal" life after cancer. This is the only acceptaple long term outcome. Some people might be ok with mild to moderate health problems. I'm not, and neither are parents, or the kids who have them. Even if we do settle for these 2 outcomes, that still leaves over half of kids in the poor outcomes: death or severe, life-threatening problems. This will never be acceptable.
We not only need treatments, but better treatments, ones without horrible short and long term side effects. Drugs that aren't so poisonouss that you can't touch the material, nevermind the fact that it drips into the veins of children. Help find a cure for childhood cancer.
** Addendum: This is how late effects are catagorized:
Mild- night blindness, hearing loss, diabetes, hypertension, athsma
Moderate - cataracts, seizure disorders, hepatitus
Severe - blind, deaf, amputation, infertility, emphysema
Life-Threatening - paralysis, heart/organ transplant, cognitive defects, cardiac arrest, lung, heart or kidney failure
Hopefully that puts into perspecitive what "mild" and "moderate" side effects are: not your average dry mouth or constipation.

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