What are pediatric cancers
The types of cancers that develop in children are different from the types that develop in adults. Unlike many cancers in adults, childhood cancers are not strongly linked to lifestyle or environmental risk factors. Only a small number of childhood cancers are caused by DNA changes that are passed from parents to their child.1 Pediatric cancer can occur anywhere in the body.
How common are pediatric cancers
Cancer is uncommon in children and there is no known cause. The majority of cancers develop in adults, making pediatric cancers very rare (less than 1% of all cancers diagnosed each year). In 2017, it is estimated that 10,270 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed among children and adolescents ages 0 to 14 years. About 1 out of every 3 adults will develop cancer during his or her lifetime, while about 1 in 285 children will develop cancer before the age of 20. The most common types of cancer diagnosed in children 0-14 are leukemias, brain, and other central nervous system (CNS) tumors and lymphomas. Because of major treatment advances in recent decades, more than 80% of children with cancer now survive 5 years or more. Overall, this is a significant improvement over the 5-year survival rate of 58% in the mid-1970s.2 The survival numbers will continue to increase given that the increase in incidence has been slowing over the years and survival rates are improving.
Questions about pediatric cancers
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1 http://www.cancer.org/ accessed 05/23/18
2 http://www.cancer.gov/childhood-cancers accessed 05/23/18
What are the symptoms of pediatric cancer
Pediatric cancers often present with nonspecific symptoms similar to those of benign conditions, leading to delays in the diagnosis and initiation of appropriate treatment. The signs and symptoms for cancer in children are similar to those in adults.
How is it diagnosed
Childhood cancers are rare, and there are no widely recommended screening tests to use in low risk groups of children. Some children have higher risk due to genetics. Screening and follow up may be necessary in those higher risk patient groups.
Accredo, a specialty pharmacy for pediatric cancer, dispenses specialty and non-specialty pediatric cancer medications. Accredo also dispenses traditional chemotherapy medications as well as supportive care medications ordered by your prescriber.
Many of the medications used to treat pediatric patients are drugs that are dose adjusted for pediatrics. They will vary by specific cancer type and will be given in pediatric dosage strengths and forms. They can vary greatly and will so vary by patient.
Treatment for pediatric cancer is based mainly on the type and stage of the cancer. The main types of treatment used for childhood cancer are:
With some exceptions, childhood cancers tend to tolerate and respond better to chemotherapy than adults do. Some types of childhood cancer may be treated with high-dose chemotherapy followed by a stem cell transplant. Newer types of treatments, such as targeted therapy drugs and immunotherapy have also shown promise in treating some cancers. Often more than one type of treatment is used.
Accredo has pediatric specialty pharmacists that are experienced in the care of pediatric cancer patients. They will insure that this special patient group is dosed and managed appropriately with the additional support and social work services that they require.3
Financing Your Care
Financial assistance coordination may be available to help with your medication costs, including manufacturer and community programs. Accredo representatives are available to help find a program that may work for you.
- Patient Access Network Foundation| 866-316-7263
- Good Days (Chronic Disease Fund)| 877-968-7233
- HealthWell Foundation | 877-675-8416
Life-saving specialty medication can be expensive. Learn how the Accredo teams help individuals find ways to afford the medication they need to survive in this video.
There are many organizations that support research and advocacy for pediatric cancers. See below for a few of those organizations.
Pediatric cancer organizations
- NIH National Cancer Institute
- National Comprehensive Cancer Network
- National Children's Cancer Society
- St. Baldrick's Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation
- American Childhood Cancer Research Foundation
- National Pediatric Cancer Foundation
- St Jude
- Cancer Care
- American Cancer Society
- American Society of Clinical Oncology
- Association of Cancer Online Resources
- Cancer Support Community
- National Foundation for Cancer Research
- Prevent Cancer Foundation
- Conquer Cancer Foundation
- Cancer GRACE
- National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship
- National Comprehensive Cancer Network
- Patient Advocate Foundation
Meet the Team
Accredo’s oncology care team is dedicated to serving you and we understand the complexity of your condition. Our specialty-trained clinicians are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to answer any questions.
Why We Do It
Accredo supports patients with chronic and complex conditions and helps them live their best life. Watch our video to learn why we do what we do for our patients.