It’s October, and as everyone well knows, it’s that time of year to see tons of pink ribbons and merchandise in support of breast cancer awareness month. While seeing so many people come together support this cause is nothing short of incredible, for the thousands of parents of children fighting various cancers, seeing the sea of pink support may not always have the same effect.
If you ask the average person what month of the year is pediatric cancer awareness month, odds are, most have absolutely no idea. While some may say, “Why would they if they don’t have a child that’s had/has cancer?”, and while that theory may be up for debate, there are still millions of people that celebrate or support breast cancer month without ever knowing anyone who has actually had the disease. The issue doesn’t end there either, as there seems to be a huge lack in funding for pediatric cancers, education, and even clinical trials available for these tiny warriors living with cancer in comparison to various other cancers.
A mere 4% of federal funding is allocated to pediatric cancer each year, which to put into better perspective, that’s $26.4 million for pediatric cancer advancements, versus a whopping $584 million NCI funding going to breast cancer. The same theory applies to the pharmaceutical industry as well. They view the adult cancer drug business and research to be more worthwhile as it provides a larger financial gain than pediatric pharmacology.
The Huffington Post reported that out of the 16,000 children that are diagnosed with cancer annually, roughly 14,000 of those will survive their disease. What is being done to secure that horrifying number of about 2,000 kids per year that didn’t make it to be a survivor isn’t growing?
This seems to vary depending on where you live in the states. For instance, if you reside in Houston, Texas for instance, you’re in a phenomenal place to get treatment for your child, as well as getting an up close look into the world of research and trials. Houston is home to the infamous medical center district, which is home to just under 20 hospitals in one small area. Texas Children’s and MD Anderson for examples, are within walking distance of each other and provide thousands of excellent treatment options and facilities for families. The problem of course, is that there aren’t medical districts such as this all over the country, making it challenging to get the best resources and treatment for every little one fighting cancer across the country.
To get involved and learn more about how you can help advance pediatric cancer check out IcanIcure.org for more information.