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In Canada *Data provided by Sick Kids Children's Hospital

  • Cancer is the number one disease killing children from age six months to young adulthood. It is the leading cause of non-accidental death in children.
  • Childhood cancer occurs regularly, randomly and spares no ethnic group, socioeconomic class or geographic region.
  • Unlike adult cancers, the causes of most childhood cancers are still unknown and are not linked to lifestyle and environmental risk factors.
  • The incidence of childhood cancer is highest in the first five years of life, between ages zero to four years of age.
  • Among infants, zero to one year old, the most common malignant cancers are neuroblastomas, followed by leukemias and central nervous system tumours.
  • Advances in cancer research and treatments have significantly improved the chances of survival for children in resource-rich countries like Canada.
  • In Canada today, 83 per cent of children diagnosed with cancer will survive.

  • Survival often comes at a price. Despite advances in research, over 75 per cent of children who survive cancer live with permanent side effects, which may include but are not limited to, deafness, blindness, growth issues, motor impairments, cognitive difficulties, heart, kidney and fertility issues, psychological, neurological and endocrine disorders.
  • Although advances in research have improved the chances of survival, many children still die from the disease. High-risk cancers, including those of the central nervous system, certain leukemias, neuroblastomas and bone cancers, still have relatively low survival rates, between 7 and 31 per cent.
  • Childhood cancer is consistently underfunded, accounting for only five per cent of all cancer research funding in Canada today.


In Ontario *Data provided by Cancer Care Ontaro

  • The rate of new cases of cancer in children under 15 has increased over the past three decades in Ontario.
  • The most common types of cancer among children in Ontario are leukemias, central nervous system cancers, lymphomas and soft tissue cancers.

  • Cancer is more common in the very young (children ages zero to four) than in older children.