Saturday, September 14, 2013
AUSTIN (KXAN) - This year, an estimated 12.000 children under the age of 15 will be diagnosed with cancer. September is Childhood Cancer awareness month and a local pediatric oncologist with Dell Children's joined KXAN to talk about the disease.
Dr. Amy Fowler sees between 80-85 newly diagnosed patients each year in their Children's Blood Cancer Center. Fowler tells us cancer in children is definitely different than adult cancer.
"Cancer in kids is different because the biology that drives these cancers to grow is different than in adult cancers. They're not linked to lifestyle choices or environmental factors like smoking in adult cancers."
Dr. Fowler says this makes cancer harder to prevent in children. "On the flip side, children tend to respond better to treatment such as chemotherapy and have lots of reason to be hopeful for long-term survival."
Also, the survival rate in children with cancer has dramatically increased over the past 20 years, Dr. Fowler says.
"In the last decades research has really driven survival rates to tremendous numbers. And now a child diagnosed with cancer has an 8 in 10 chance of becoming a long-term survivor. This is all because of participation in clinical research"
The most common type of cancer in children is Leukemia. One in three children with cancer have Leukemia. The second most common type of cancer is brain tumor followed by a tumor called neuroblastoma, which is a tumor of immature nerve cells. The fourth most common type of cancer is cancer in the kidneys.
Speaking of young cancer patients: on Sunday night on KXAN we will air an amazing story about a boy battling cancer. His name is Matt and he's in Houston for medical care right now but his family has found a way for him to be with his classmates here in Austin each and every day.
We'll show you how technology is changing his life and those around him Sunday night at ten right after football.