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Childhood Cancers

Every year, a host of parents across the nation will be devasted with the words no one ever wants to hear: “Your child has cancer.” One in 260 children and adolescents under the age of 20 are diagnosed with cancer annually. Though relatively rare, pediatric cancers are often devastating: they represent the leading cause of death from disease among young people.

Thanks to advances in research since the 1980s, the cancer death rate has declined by 70% among children 14 or younger, and 64% among teens 15-19. Still, in 2023 approximately 15,000 young people were diagnosed with cancer and nearly 1,600 died from these diseases. The most common types in children are acute lymphoblastic leukemia, brain and central nervous system tumors, lymphoma, and neuroblastoma. Added together, these cancers account for about half of the new cases each year.

According to Dr. Paul Finch, Associate Professor of Pediatrics at The Joan C. Edwards, Marshall University School of Medicine, “Here at the Edwards Cancer Institute, we take great care to treat children and young adults with cancer and blood disorders with the best treatments available, including clinical trials. We firmly believe children should receive treatment close to home and with as little disruption as possible.”

Childhood cancer research is an ongoing frontier of health. The Pediatric Oncology Team at the Edwards Cancer Institute (ECI) are members of the Children’s Oncology Group and the Internation Society of Pediatric Oncology and enroll patients in active clinical trials.

“I find it so inspiring how our region and investors play a critical role in helping our kids and families while they are being treated at the ECI Pediatric Department and the Hoops Family Children’s Hospital during very challenging times,” adds Kristi Arrowood, Executive Director of MHN Foundations. “Until there is a cure, I assure you we will do everything in our power to provide comfort, care, love, and even offer tight hugs to our children and their families, as together, we fight the cancer battle! All the children of the ECI are grateful for your commitment, your dedication, and your generosity to helping them!”

Talk with Your Child’s Doctor

If you feel like your child is having symptoms out of the ordinary, please make an appointment with their doctor and get them checked out. According to the American Cancer Society, some symptoms include an unusual lump or swelling, unexplained paleness and loss of energy, easy bruising or bleeding, an ongoing pain in one area of the body, limping, unexplained fever or illness that doesn’t go away, frequent headaches—often with vomiting, sudden eye or vision changes, or sudden unexplained weight loss.  Catching cancer early is key; don’t delay.

If you have a loved one or friend whose child is suffering from a form of cancer, consider partnering with the MHN Foundations for fundraisers to help fight this dreaded disease. You may also want to consider donating to our Gift of Life for Pediatric Dept. or our Good Samaritan Cancer Fund, which helps patients who are struggling to pay for their medication, transportation to appointments, hotel stays for long visits, or other expenses.

Join Us in Helping to Continue the Fight Childhood Cancer

Good Samaritan Fund