Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month! NCCAM’s purpose is rooted in supporting those affected by childhood cancer as well as the fight to end this disease. In 2012, President Obama proclaimed September as National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month to bring awareness to pediatric cancer. This is due to Cancer being the leading cause of death by disease for children in the United States.
Childhood Cancer is rare, but it is typically a very difficult diagnosis for all those involved. According to the American Childhood Cancer Organization, every day, 42 families learn that their child has cancer–and early diagnosis is challenging. There aren’t recommended screenings for childhood cancer, so most children are diagnosed after symptoms of the disease appear. The subsequent treatment is typically more intensive, and considering the average age of a child diagnosed with cancer is 8, this can be extremely distressing for both the child and their family.
Awareness is the first step to making valuable contributions to a cause. In Mississippi, there are very few pediatric cancer treatment centers which result in a clear lack of education about childhood cancer and its various effects. According to the 2022 KIDS COUNT Data Book, approximately 38,000 children in Mississippi don’t have health insurance. This means that when this disease strikes, there will be thousands of families left without options for treatment. With support from our communities, Mississippi can raise money for organizations that support treatment and research, advocate for better state and federal funding for childhood cancer research, and spread awareness so that childhood cancer is diagnosed and treated as early as possible.
If you want to learn more about Childhood Cancer Awareness month, visit https://www.acco.org/childhood-cancer-awareness-month/ , (American Childhood Cancer Organization’s Website) or https://www.stjude.org/get-involved/other-ways/childhood-cancer-awareness-month.html (St. Jude’s Website). There you can learn more about the importance of Childhood Cancer Awareness month and how these organizations function to put an end to Childhood Cancer. If you want to learn more about what Mississippi offers to those affected by cancer visit https://www.cancer.org/about-us/local/mississippi.html (the American Cancer Society in Mississippi). There you can learn about local resources like transportation, advocacy, cancer information, and lodging.
When we know better, we can do better. Join the fight to end childhood cancer and help create a brighter future for our children!