Over the last decade the rate at which children are dying from cancer has fallen by 24 per cent says Cancer Research UK. The latest data suggests that the number of British kids that die from cancer every year has fallen from approximately 330 a decade ago to around 260 today. Whilst that is welcome news, it still means roughly five children die from cancer every week in the UK. For many children, long term cancer treatment can have adverse side effects which are deeply unpleasant which means there is an urgent requirement for kinder treatments.
The number of kids dying from cancer is falling
Every year in the UK approximately 1500 children are diagnosed with cancer. The overall survival rate for children’s cancer has increased by threefold since the 1960s with three quarters of those diagnosed surviving. A lot of the success can be attributed to a variety of chemotherapy drugs. Cancer Research UK has played an important part in clinical trials which showed these combined treatments can be successful.
Lots more needs to be done
Professor Pam Kearns, director of the Cancer Research UK Clinical Trials Unit in Birmingham, says that whilst the young cancer mortality rate is falling a lot more needs to be done. There are still many types of children’s cancer where there has been limited progress. Cancer Research is making significant investments into clinical trials for children that have played a major role in developing present day treatments as well as providing hope for child cancer sufferers and their families. Many child cancer survivors will have to live with the long term side effects of their treatments for the rest of their lives, so it is critical that we develop more effective treatments that are less toxic.
Lots of money being raised
The new data was released against a backdrop of Cancer Research UK Kids & Teens opening nominations for the Star Awards. The awards are conducted in partnership with TK Maxx which provides the most funding for children’s cancer research in the UK. The awards are meant to celebrate the courage of children that have been diagnosed with cancer in the UK. TK Maxx in collaboration with the Cancer Research UK has raised over £22 million since 2004.