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What is International Childhood Cancer Day?

International Childhood Cancer Day is a global collaborative campaign to raise awareness about childhood cancer, and to express support for children and adolescents with cancer, the survivors and their families. The day promotes increased appreciation and deeper understanding of issues and challenges relevant to childhood cancer and impacting on children/adolescents with cancer, the survivors, their families and the society as a whole. It also spotlights the need for more equitable and better access to treatment and care for all children with cancer, everywhere.

Who is behind International Childhood Cancer Day?

This annual event was created by Childhood Cancer International (CCI), a global network of 188 grassroots and national networks of parent organizations in 93 countries, spanning 5 continents. CCI is the world’s largest childhood cancer patient support and advocacy network.

International Childhood Cancer Day is based on Childhood Cancer International’s (CCI) core belief that every child with cancer deserves the best possible medical and psychosocial care, regardless of country of origin, race, financial status or social class. It is also anchored on the premise that childhood cancer deaths are avoidable, with timely and accurate diagnosis, availability and access to quality essential medicines as well as proper treatment and care.

ICCD was first launched in 2002. Since then, the annual ICCD has generated the support of global networks and leading institutions including: the World Health Organization, SIOP (International Society of Pediatric Oncology, with 1000 plus individual members), UICC (Union for International Cancer Control with more than 1000 member organizations in 163 countries), St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer), ICPCN (International Children’s Palliative Care Network ) and CLAN (Caring and Living Among Neighbours), among others.

Why it is important for you/your organization to show support and solidarity for International Childhood Cancer Day?

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.

Childhood Cancer International is 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 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 International Childhood Cancer Day, all members of Childhood Cancer International 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:

  • The right to early and proper diagnosis;
  • The right to access life-saving essential medicines;
  • The right to appropriate and quality medical treatments, and;
  • The right to follow up care, services and sustainable livelihood opportunities for survivors.

Furthermore, if a cure is not attainable, CCI stands by the right of the child to experience a pain-free death. While unfathomable in developed countries, the shocking reality for a majority of low-middle income nations is that children suffering from cancer will die excruciating deaths without any supportive care or pain management.

There can be no more ‘but.’ United together towards a shared vision we can advance cures, transform care, and instill hope. Together we must take action to reduce premature child cancer mortality.


Childhood Cancer International

Overview of CCI member organisations

Please take a look on the CCI website for a comprehensive list of CCI member organisations.