Childhood cancer by the numbers

It’s a sentence no family wants to hear: “Your child has cancer.”

However, it may be a reality for many, with thousands of new cases expected to be diagnosed this year.

Sept. 1 marks the beginning of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Below are some key figures.

10,270: The number of new childhood cancer cases expected to be diagnosed in the U.S. this year for kids ages 0 to 14, according to the National Cancer Institute.

1,190: The estimate for how many children are expected to die from cancer this year, per the NCI.

1: For children, cancer is the leading cause of death by disease, the National Cancer Institute says.

3: “The major types of cancers in children ages 0 to 14 years are acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), brain and other central nervous system (CNS) tumors, and neuroblastoma,” the institute says online.


29%: The percent of childhood cancers that are leukemia, the American Cancer Society (ACS) says in a report. The next largest cases of cancer are brain and CNS tumors making up 26 percent, and neuroblastoma 6 percent, the ACS says. The report indicates that “childhood cancer” refers to ages 0 to 14.

$485,000: This is a general, ballpark figure for the cost of treating acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) over two to three years, Dr. Charles Roberts with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital told Fox News.

He emphasized that the exact figure for an individual depends on the medical center where a patient receives treatment and the sort of treatment that they get.

The number refers to the cost of providing a patient’s medical care, and isn’t what would be billed, Roberts explained in an email.

86%: This is the 5-year survival rate for childhood leukemia cases, the ACS report said. For ALL, it said that the 5-year rate is slightly higher, at 90 percent.

80%: The 5-year survival rate for neuroblastoma, according to the ACS.

$625,000: This is a general figure for the cost of treating neuroblastoma, Roberts told Fox News. This figure can also vary based on where a patient receives care and their individual treatment. This number, too, refers to the cost of providing care for the patient and is not the amount billed, according to Roberts.

73%: This is the 5-year survival rate for brain and central nervous system tumors when benign brain tumors aren’t included, the ACS report says.


1: The rank held by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital on US News and World Report’s list of “Best Hospitals for Pediatric Cancer.”

Rounding out the top five in descending order are Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Centers, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Texas Children’s Hospital, and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.