September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and no one is more aware of childhood cancer than the families affected by it. If your family should be affected by a cancer diagnosis, you can find some comfort in knowing that the best care available is here at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota. That’s because we have the largest pediatric cancer and blood disorders program in the Upper Midwest.
Childhood cancer affects nearly one in 10,000 kids each year, and nearly 13,000 children under the age of 21 are diagnosed each year in the United States. The most common childhood cancers are leukemias (blood cancers) and brain or nervous system tumors.
While cancer is still the leading cause of death in children between infants and age 15, survival rates have increased significantly over the past few decades – up from 58 percent in the 1970s to nearly 80 percent in recent years.
Children’s takes a unique approach by focusing not only on the patient, but the whole family. We look at the entire picture – the clinical care, emotional well-being, sibling support and more – because we believe that better journeys lead to better outcomes.
There are even more reasons why Children’s is the best place for childhood cancer and blood disorder treatment. Here are just a few:
Children’s treats the most kids – in fact, we care for more than 55 percent of children diagnosed with cancer in Minnesota and more than 60 percent of Minnesota children and teens with blood disorders each year, says Dr. Susan Sencer.
Our outcomes are among the best in the nation. Children’s ranks in the top 10 programs in the U.S. in both medical and surgical cancer outcomes according to the Pediatric Health Information Systems (PHIS) database. Our program delivers some of the highest survival rates among leading U.S. children’s hospitals treating patients with cancer and blood disorders.
We believe no child should suffer needless pain. It’s for that reason why we’re known for our aggressive management of pain and side effects. Our nationally recognized Pain and Palliative Care Program is one of the largest and longest running in the nation and is led by our world-renowned pediatric pain management specialist.
Our patients have access to the most advanced treatments. Our state-of-the-art technologies – including special high-tech MRI capabilities that help doctors map tumors with precision – help yield remarkable outcomes. Our participation in cancer research –nearly 90 percent of our patients take part in clinical trials – place us in the top 5 percent of Children’s Oncology Group institutions for number of patients enrolled in clinical trials.
And, our physicians communicate and consult with colleagues from around the country, ensuring that every child receives the care they need, even if not at Children’s.
Our goal always is no matter what the condition, whether cancer or a chronic blood disorder, that we make that journey for the family and the child as positive as possible, given the rather hard circumstances of the disease itself. We believe, better journeys, better outcomes.
Throughout September, we’ll recognize in Childhood Cancer Awareness Month several different ways. Follow us here and on Facebook for updates throughout the month.