More than 80% of children with cancer now survive the disease, compared to just three in ten during the late 1960s, according to Cancer Research UK.
Child cancer survival rates have improved
In the last decade children surviving cancer for five or more years has increased from 79% to 82%. Cancer Research UK feels that survival can be attributed to tackling the disease by using a combination of different chemotherapy drugs.
The latest statistics show that survival rates in children for all cancers has risen but none more so than liver and bone tumours, both of which have made significantly good progress in recent years. In the past ten years, five-year survival for liver tumours has increased from 67% to 82% and bone tumours from 61% to 68%.
Despite an increase in survival rates in children, scientists are still working on more effective, kinder treatments for all cancers.
Certain forms of the diseases with low survival rates such as neuroblastoma (67% five-year survival) and medulloblastoma (64% five-year survival) also need much more research.
Professor Pam Kearns, director of Cancer Research UK’s Clinical Trial’s Unit in Birmingham, said: “Cancer Research UK has been at the forefront of research into new treatments for childhood cancers.
“Although more than eight in 10 children with cancer now survive their disease for more than five years more work is needed to discover better treatments. As more and more children survive cancer, it is especially important that we concentrate on improving the quality of life after cancer.”
Despite strong survival rates, 40% of those affected by cancer at a young age experience severe or life-threatening conditions or had died due to a chronic health condition 30 years after diagnosis.
Cancer Research’s chief clinician said: “Cancer Research UK is funding a range of trials to develop new treatments for cancers where we currently have few treatment options, such as aggressive neuroblastoma. We hope these efforts will mean there are even more childhood cancer survivors in the UK in the years to come.”
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