February 15, 2018
Today is International Childhood Cancer Day which highlights the need for concerted global actions to address the growing challenge posed by this non-communicable disease. Globally, childhood and adolescent cancer is threatening to overtake infectious diseases, as one of the highest causes of disease-related mortality in children.
It is a day when we come together to continue the work to “Advance Cures and Transform Care” and to make childhood cancer a national and global child health priority.
Much work remains to be done. According to IARC (2015), the reported worldwide incidence of childhood cancer is increasing, from 165,000 new cases annually to 215,000 cases for children 14 years and younger and 85,000 new cases for 15-19 year-olds. Many more remain uncounted and unreported due to a lack of childhood cancer registries in a large number of countries.
While the number of children with cancer is much less compared to global incidence of adult cancers, the number of lives saved is significantly higher; survival rates in high-income countries reach an average of 84% and are steadily improving even in less-resourced areas of the world where there is local and international support.
The ICCD campaign’s ultimate goal and unified message is “Advance Cures and Transform Care”. This message spotlights the inequities and glaring disparity of access to care in most low- and middle-income countries where 80% of children with cancer live. Children and adolescents in Africa, Asia and Latin America and in parts of Eastern and Southern Europe do not yet have access to appropriate treatment including essential medicines and specialized care. Currently, where one lives often determines one’s ability to survive childhood cancer.
The 188 member organizations of Childhood Cancer International (CCI) in 96 countries as the largest non-profit patient support organization for childhood cancer and the 1000 healthcare professionals from 110 countries who are members of the International Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP) ask everyone to come together in solidarity to make sure children and adolescents everywhere have the chance to survive cancer and live long, productive and meaningful lives.
"The chance for a cure, the chance to live, should not be an accident of geography. There is nothing scarier than realizing that your child has cancer. However, there is nothing more tragic than knowing that treatment and cure does exist for your particular child’s cancer and with excellent outcomes, BUT… that it is not available for your child. Why? Because your child happens to live in the wrong hemisphere! It is time to take action to stop this cruel atrocity… makes your voices heard on International Childhood Cancer Day and demand from world leaders to ACT and HELP SAVE ALL CHILDREN regardless of where they live!"
(HRH Princess Dina Mired, mother of childhood cancer survivor, President-elect, UICC).
For the next 3 years we will build on a campaign to:
The time is now. There can be no more “but.”
Geneva, Switzerland - February 15th - International Childhood Cancer Day (ICCD) is celebrated around the world each year on February 15th. Originally commemorated in 2002, ICCD is a day founded by Childhood Cancer International (CCI), a global network of 188-member organizations in 96 countries. Childhood Cancer International is committed to advancing cures, transforming care, and instilling hope for all children and adolescents diagnosed with cancer in the world, wherever they may live. Established in 1969, the International Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP), with over 1500 healthcare professional members, is the lead organization concerned with the issues of treating children and young people who have cancer. SIOP is committed to improve childhood cancer care globally through education, supporting and improving clinical and basic research and advocating for childhood cancer on a global level. Both societies share a long and fruitful synergistic cooperation.
Childhood Cancer International and SIOP are not alone in recognizing the devastating impact of childhood cancer on children and families around the globe. In September 2011, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly issued a Political Declaration recognizing four major Non-Communicable Diseases/NCDs (cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and chronic respiratory disease) as the greatest killers of adults and children.
Sadly, childhood cancer continues to be the leading cause of non-communicable related death in children throughout the world. Globally, more than 300,000 children are diagnosed with cancer each year. Approximately 80 percent of our world’s children with cancer live in low-middle-income countries (LMICs) where more than 80 percent of these children die of their disease. In developed countries like the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Japan and others, more than 80 percent of children survive cancer with hope to live productive and meaningful lives.
On December 13, 2017 a new report from WHO and the World bank revealed that approximately half of the world’s population, including children, do not have access to essential health services and that 800 million people spend at minimum 10 percent of their household income on health-related care. Childhood cancers are often curable but too many children and adolescents have no hope to overcome their disease simply because they were born in a country entrenched in poverty resulting in late diagnosis, lack of access to life-saving essential medicines and appropriate treatment. As childhood cancer organizations, we know only too well that the associated cost to treat a child with cancer can be a burden that too many families simply can’t overcome. We support the need for universal access to essential medicines and healthcare for all children in the world diagnosed with cancer. In order for this to happen, CCI and SIOP agree that making childhood cancer a national and global child health priority is a critical first step towards increasing access to treatment and reducing childhood cancer mortality.
All children in the world deserve hope for a cure - no matter where they live - not more excuses. We can no longer sweep this issue “under the rug.” Children are the future of our country and our world. Their vitality is the heartbeat of our world, a shared passion that can unite us because our future as a global community depends on it.
On International Childhood Cancer Day, all members of Childhood Cancer International and SIOP stand united to make childhood cancer a national and global child health priority to ensure there are adequate resources to meet the basic rights of children with cancer. We believe those basic rights for all children diagnosed with cancer include:
There can be no more ‘but.’ United together towards a shared vision we can advance cures, transform care, and instil hope. Together we must take action to reduce child cancer mortality.
For further actions please visit the official ICCD 2018 Campaign Website www.internationalchildhoodcancerday.org
For more information, contact:
Ruth Hoffman, MPH CCI President Schouwstede 2B, 3431 JB Nieuwegen NETHERLANDS Tel: +31 30 242 2944 email@example.com
Dr Gabriele Calaminus Head, Global Advocacy SIOP Office Industriestrasse 25 6312 Steinhausen, Switzerland Tel: + 41 79 687 9163 firstname.lastname@example.org
Childhood Cancer International (CCI) is the largest organization of its kind representing families of children with cancer. CCI wants to see a world where the issues faced by children with cancer and their families, both in the short and long-term, are understood by families, healthcare professionals and the wider community to ensure that children receive the best possible care wherever they are in the world at the time of diagnosis and beyond. CCI's vision is to advance cure, transform care and instil hope for children and families who are affected by childhood cancer regardless where they live in the world. Ruth Hoffman, CEO of the American Childhood Cancer Organization is the president of the CCI Board of Trustees. www.childhoodcancerinternational.org
Established in 1969, the International Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP), with over 1500 members, is the lead organization concerned with the issues of children and young people who have cancer. The society envisions that “no child should die of cancer.” To realize this vision, SIOP’s mission are to: (1) ensure that each child and young adult with cancer has access to state-of-the-art treatment and care; (2) ensure that all involved in childhood cancer worldwide, have access to the latest progress through meetings, networking, and continuing professional development; (3) support those caring for children and young adults with cancer to provide the best curative and palliative therapies; and, (4) advocate for appropriate long-term follow-up for children and young adults after treatment for cancer. Dr. Eric Bouffet is the president of SIOP. SIOP is governed by a board of directors and has its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. www.siop-online.org
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Ruth Hoffman, Global President, Childhood Cancer International
This is in accordance with the UN Rights of the Child which states:
Children have the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health and facilities for the treatment of illness and rehabilitation of health.