First Posted: 4/16/2008
Relay for Life is an event designed to raise money and awareness about cancer and is a night to remember lost loved ones and honor survivors. Cancer can strike anyone at any time, which is why it is so important to keep ahead of the research efforts. Events hosted by the American Cancer Society like the Relay for life, are opportunities for the community to get involved in the efforts. What would happen if a family received news that their child was diagnosed with cancer? What it if it was your own child? A scary reality is that about 10,730 children under the age of 15 in the United States will be diagnosed with cancer this year alone. Because of significant advances in therapy, 80 percent of these children will survive five years or more. This is a major increase from before the 1970s when the five year survival rate was less than 50 percent. Leukemia is the most common childhood cancer, accounting for about 30 percent of all childhood cancers. Brain and other nervous system cancers are the second most common cancers in children, making up about 22 percent of the childhood cancers. Although there are exceptions, childhood cancers tend to respond to chemotherapy because they are cancers that grow fast. Most forms of chemotherapy affect only cells that are growing.