The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have discovered something truly surprising about children, brain cancer and leukemia.
A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reached an astonishing conclusion: leukemia is no longer the number one risk to children — brain cancer is. The report, which examines mortality among children from 1999 through 2014, found that brain cancer kills more children than any other type of cancer now, making it the number one mortality risk for kids.
But this change at the top is actually good news for kids, as it shows that overall cancer rates are declining and brain tumors, while still stubbornly difficult to fight, aren’t becoming more common in children, according to a statement from the CDC. It also means that leukemia is not as deadly as it used to be thanks to better early detection methods and treatments.
The death rate from cancer plunged 20 percent among children and teens over that 15-year period. Brain tumors and leukemia are still the most common childhood cancers and the top two killers, accounting for half of all cancer deaths in children.
Brain cancer remains difficult to fight because pediatric brain tumor research hasn’t seen the advances that other cancers have, whereas better treatments have been developed for leukemia.
The CDC statement reads: “Since the mid-1970s, cancer death rates among children and adolescents in the United States showed marked declines despite a slow increase in incidence for some of the major types (1–3). These trends have previously been shown through 2012. This data brief extends previous research by showing trends in cancer death rates through 2014 among children and adolescents aged 1–19 years in the United States. Cancer death rates for 1999–2014 are presented and trends are compared for both females and males, by 5-year age group, and for white and black children and adolescents. Percent distributions of cancer deaths among children and adolescents aged 1–19 years are shown by anatomical site for 1999 and 2014.”