Brain cancer overtakes leukemia in child cancer death due to technological advancements in treating leukemia together with the difficulty in treating brain cancer.
When it comes to cancer and child mortality rates, leukemia has always been the biggest cause of death but according to a new report issued by the National Center for Health Statistics, brain cancer has now overtaken leukemia as the biggest cancer risk to children.
In 2014, there were 1785 child deaths attributed to cancer with brain cancer and leukemia accounting for more than half of these deaths. Despite what it may initially seem, cancer rates in children have dropped by 20 percent between 1999 and 2014 and the technical advancements in treating leukemia has helped more children recover from the disease causing the drop in death rates linked to it.
Another reason brain cancer is more prominent is due to the difficulty in treating this particular cancer. This is because brain surgery can pose problems and surgeons need to be careful not to damage healthy tissue.
But new research is being conducted into what makes brain tumors abnormal and the conditions they need to grow. For this scientists are focusing on cancer genomics and genome sequencing in the hope that more can be understood and techniques can be developed to help cure brain cancer.
Part of the report 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.”