September has been designated as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, a time to remember, honor, and support children with cancer and their families.
Each year, an estimated 175,000–250,000 children worldwide are diagnosed with cancer, according to Childhood Cancer International. While these estimates are supported by the organization, it also recognizes that cases of childhood cancer in developing countries may be substantially underreported, for reasons such as inadequate medical knowledge or lack of cancer registries.
Ultimately, more children are being diagnosed with cancer today than ever before. Yet, despite this alarming fact, more than 70 percent of all childhood cancers are now curable, which has resulted in a sharp increase in survival rates since the 1970s.
To help ensure children in developing countries receive the modern medical treatment they need to survive cancer, many developed countries are assisting these countries via partnerships known as “twinning programs.”
Through these programs, medical facilities in developed countries provide funding, mentoring, training, and support to medical personnel in low income countries to help improve worldwide healthcare coverage and promote cancer control efforts for children on a global scale.
Once implemented, twinning programs typically increase the survival rate of child cancer patients in developing countries by more than 30 percent. Recent research conducted on twinning programs in Africa and Central America also revealed that funding designated for treating the most common and highly curable cancers, such as Burkitt lymphoma and acute lymphoblastic leukemia, is extremely effective in reducing child fatality rates in low income countries while at the same time very cost-effective for the partnered medical facility.
Twining programs help provide hope for children battling cancer, as well as their families, no matter what country they call home. But programs offered by large medical corporations aren’t the only way to make a difference in lives of those affected by childhood cancer.
As part of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, everyone is encouraged to make a donation to a reputable childhood cancer organization of their choosing, as each person’s generous gift can help fund research, cover the cost of patients’ medical bills, provide emotional support to children and families impacted by the disease, and help raise awareness.
This September, during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month —or during any other month, week, or day—we encourage you to take a moment to honor and remember all children and families affected by childhood cancer.
Whether you donate to a charity, volunteer at a children’s hospital, or provide personal support to a family affected by the disease, your time, love, and generosity will help ensure every child diagnosed with cancer has hope for a bright, happy, and healthy future for years to come.
Learn about another program that is dedicated to helping children, Angels Overseas, This program has the goal of providing children with access to life saving medical treatment that is not available in their home country.