Thursday, September 24, 2009

Are You Aware?

This is floating around many cancer sites...and it's worth the read.

September is a disease awareness month, which you probably recognized by the gold ribbons displayed on all the corporate advertising on TV and in magazines and the special media reports.

What’s that? You haven’t seen any? That’s because, for some reason, this class of diseases attracts hardly any public attention.

If I said “pink ribbon,” you would have immediately thought of breast cancer. “Red ribbon” might be a little trickier, but eventually you would have come up with heart disease.

But the gold ribbon is nearly invisible.

It represents childhood cancers.

Today, as you read this, the equivalent of a classroom full of children will be diagnosed with cancer in the U.S., more than 12,400 a year. About 4,000 child cancer victims will die this year, making cancer the number one disease-related killer of children under 14.

While 75 percent of childhood cancer cases are curable, for some forms, a cure remains illusive.
Only one new cancer drug has been approved for pediatric use over the past two decades. For some of the rarest, but most deadly, childhood cancers, no new treatments have been introduced in more than three decades.

For every one child diagnosed with pediatric AIDS, 15 children are diagnosed with cancer, yet available funding dollars designated for research are vastly disproportionate: $595,000 for each AIDS victim and only $20,000 for each pediatric cancer victim.

Federal funding for breast cancer research is more than double that for all 12 major groups of pediatric cancer combined.

The end of September is approaching and Childhood Cancer Awareness Month has passed, largely unnoticed by society. The rush to shower us with pink in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness month is reminiscent of the crowding away of pumpkins and scarecrows by Christmas trees and snowmen.

Except there's no pushing gold aside. The way is clear for pink.
Even the American Cancer Society -- the outfit that professes to represent all cancers and provide support for everyone affected by the disease -- the organization for which we all come together and raise funds by holding a Relay each year -- has chosen not to recognize Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

Go to and what do you see? The banner at the top of the page is pink and touts the ACS' commitment to fighting breast cancer.

What if the focus that remains on breast cancer was turned to pediatric cancer?
I know millions of women are affected by breast cancer. But almost all of them are effectively treated.

Only thousands of kids are affected by cancer. But many -- perhaps most -- of them die.
I am grateful for the pink that signals the arrival of October in our day and time. I just wish there was a wave of gold -- more in terms of funding for research, but also in terms of awareness -- to usher in the pink.

If you are reading this, you know. You have traveled this tragic journey with us and you are aware of the impact of pediatric cancer on families.

Will you spread the word to someone who doesn't know today? Send an e-mail. Copy this to your blog, your facebook, your twitter. Write a letter to a corporation or a legislator. Or to an editor."Please do whatever it takes to get the word out. Our children are our future. We need to help give them a chance to live. We need a lot more funding going to childhood cancer research.

Please help.

Thank you.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Everyone!!!! We need your help!! "The Doctors" TV Show is trying to go into production on a show (I am asking for a series) on Pediatric/Childhood Cancer. If you will please go to the following website and post your comments it would be great. Please remember to sign in, or if you have not signed in previously, you will need to set up an account, but it is easy and fast. I lost my entire posting because I was not signed in, so please remember to do that prior to adding comments.
I was going to add each of your e-mails to my comment, as I believe you all would have the most impact on the largest audience. I am also asking "The Doctors" producers to invite you onto the show, unless you would prefer otherwise. I believe if we can get a series out of them, we can promote all the ideas we so desperately need.

Loraine Keck