Skip to comments.U.S. childhood cancer death rate declines sharply
Posted on 12/06/2007 2:04:45 PM PST by Pharmboy
The cancer death rate for children in the United States has declined sharply -- down 20 percent from 1990 to 2004 -- thanks to better treatment of leukemia and other cancers, health officials said on Thursday.
Cancer stands as the leading disease-related cause of death for U.S. children, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a report. Better treatments are improving survival rates, the CDC said.
The cancer death rate for U.S. children was 34.2 per million for children up to age 19 in 1990, but fell to 27.3 per million in 2004, the CDC said. This death rate has declined 1.7 percent per year during this period, according to the CDC.
"It's not that we're having less cancer diagnosed. The incidence rates, the new-case rates are the same. It's just that we're getting better survival," the CDC's Dr. Lori Pollack said in a telephone interview.
There were 2,223 childhood cancer deaths in 2004, compared to 2,457 in 1990, the CDC said. The only greater causes of death for U.S. children were accidents, homicide and suicide.
The blood and bone marrow cancers known as leukemia caused about 26 percent of the 2004 cancer deaths, with brain and other nervous system tumors causing another 25 percent. Death rates from leukemia dropped more sharply than other cancers, by 3 percent per year from 1990 to 2004, the CDC said.
Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society, said better drugs and improvements in how drugs are used are helping improve leukemia survival, along with effective use of bone marrow transplants.
"We've made tremendous advances against pediatric cancer. We'd like to see greater advances. Kids are still dying from it," Brawley said in a telephone interview.
U.S. Hispanics have not experienced as large a decline in childhood cancer death rates as other groups, according to the CDC report. Their cancer death rates have declined by only 1 percent per year during the 15 years studied.
"Studies have documented that Hispanics lack sufficient access to health-care services because of inadequate health insurance coverage, lack of health insurance, poor geographic access to health-care providers, lack of transportation to and from providers, and cultural and linguistic barriers, which might contribute to this disparity," according to the report.
There were also regional differences, with cancer death rates falling the least in the West and the most in the Midwest, the CDC said. In addition, boys had significantly higher death rates than girls, the CDC said.
(Editing by Julie Steenhuysen and Eric Beech)
More progress being made year by year, folks, although this news was even better than one might have expected.
Hard to understand about the Hispanic data...legal or illegal, rich or poor, there is NO kid with cancer who will not get great care in this country.
R & D. That’s it in a nutshell. And that’s why we don’t want socialized medicine. Let the profit motive work it’s charms.
Only if their parents take them the doctor or hospital.
Exactly right. They do not touch on that directly, but cite “cultural differences.”
But wouldn’t Hillary’s five year plans work so much better than the profit motive. After all, it is far more pure hearted than the money grubbers in the drug industry. Why, just reading to children from Das Kapital will be more effective than any chemotherapy.
It’s understandable. Many Spanish-speaking immigrants were poor, rural people in their home countries, and they’re often poor, rural people here. Access to the kind of medical care we have in the U.S. is a real novelty. Concern about immigration status is probably another factor
I wouldn’t be surprised if many of the Hispanic children who die from cancer aren’t diagnosed until they’re already terminal.
You’ve got a point there Karl. LOL...
That's just mean-spirited! All cultures are equal, and this trend is unfair to the children of other countries.
My guess: parents slower to ask for help than other ethnic groups.
I think that’s right—too bad the articledidn’t emphasize that point.
This may not be a popular opinion, but it’s my take that a significant number of hispanic kid’s parents having escaped poverty and sub-standard living conditions in Mexico, the kids may show an outward manifestation as a result.
I steped in it now... /s
Exactly. When Hillary et al speak of socialized medicine, the speak of "quality" health care - but the reality is that the government does not care about quality in the same way that the person who needs the good or service does.
The only thing which sustains quality is the ability of the "consumer" - the one who cares about quality - to reward quality and choose not to reward the lack thereof. Socialism is about reducing the price, and its natural tendency is to take away choice and leave the subject of its "benevolence" with shoddy goods, delivered too late to be of best utility.
Nutrition is being shown to act as a preventative for cancer. I would wonder if there is a link to good prenatal nutrition and a similar protective effect for young children.
Could illegal immigration mean that there has been an importation of less nourished children be a factor in Hispanic rates not declining?
I can only speak for one hispanic child and there were no near-perfect donors. Thousands of people in our town would have tested but they told us that only hispanics should be tested. Maybe there aren’t many hispanics on the registry?
This is just excellent news for families all across America. A childhood friend of mine died of leukemia, when we were 9, and it was so hard on her family.
sure , but I saw the michael moore film and I bet the little commie kids in cuba are doing even better
The problem is likely caused by their parents not having the cancer detected as early as with most other kids. If they don't take them to the doctor when they see strange symptoms, the cancer may progress beyond the point at which pharmaceuticals, surgery, or chemo could help.
Yup. Big Pharma always finding new and better ways to scam the public into thinking that cancer is a real disease and that chemicals not found in nature can treat it. Scoundrels all.
LOL!! And it’s that most impressive Cubano Pharmaceutical Industry that’s made impressive gains. Not.
Every day the Times and their co-travelers give us yet MORE reasons to detest them...