Childhood cancer diagnosis rates are higher among older kids
Rates of childhood cancer diagnosis are higher among older youth. Similar to rates in the United States, 23 per 100,000 teens ages 15-19 were diagnosed with cancer in California from 2011 to 2015 compared with 16 per 100,000 children under age 15.
Pediatric cancer care is highly specialized depending on the type of cancer. The patient’s age also plays a role in determining the best medical approach to provide each child with the highest chance of survival and full recovery.
Palliative care, which provides supportive services for sustaining quality of life during and after treatments, also should be age-specific. Many of us can play a role in improving the quality of life for pediatric patients and their families as they face complex physical, emotional, and logistical challenges throughout diagnoses, hospital stays, and beyond.
Policies and programs are key to maximizing positive health outcome and quality of life for pediatric cancer patients.