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Survivorship and Bereavement

SURVIVORSHIP

It is estimated that 1 in 530 young adults between age 20 and 39 is a childhood cancer survivor.

When a child is diagnosed with cancer, the focus of that child’s family members and treatment practitioners shifts to a singular goal—survival. Every moment of every day is devoted to finding the right treatment to successfully defeat this deadly disease. In the throes of such an overwhelming battle, little time is left to consider the “late effects” of childhood cancer—meaning the physical and emotional ramifications childhood cancer can have on the surviving child’s health and quality of life as an adult.

A recent clinical study showed that by age 45, more than 95% of childhood cancer survivors will suffer from one or more chronic health problems resulting from late effects of the cancer or cancer treatments they underwent as children. At the ACCO, we understand that for childhood cancer survivors, the battle may be won, but the war wages on. We know that the challenges and health issues do not end once the active treatment phase of childhood cancer is over. Life-saving surgeries, radiation, and chemotherapies given during crucial childhood development phases are associated with significant long-term side effects that can be painful, frightening, and potentially life-threatening.

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The ACCO is committed to improving the health and quality of life of adults who received treatment for pediatric cancer. We offer supportive care resources to improve the quality of life for childhood cancer survivors and their families, and we also fund research to find gentler childhood cancer treatments with fewer long-term side effects.

If your child is a cancer survivor we encourage you to take advantage of the resources and information listed in the “Late Effects” page below, or to contact us for additional support.

BEREAVEMENT

Every day, approximately 250 children around the world die from cancer.[1]

Death is a difficult topic to discuss under any circumstances, and the idea of a child losing his or her life to cancer is too horrific and painful for many parents to even consider. Parents of a child with cancer are guided by protective instincts to fight for life, a cure, or even a miracle rather than reflect upon the potential for loss.

As excruciating as it may be to contemplate, there are things you can do to help your child in his or her final journey. In the “Bereavement” section of our site, you will find resources with information and suggestions to ease your burden and help you to manage practical matters so that you can devote your energy to spending time with your child.

Approximately 1 out of every 285 children will be diagnosed with cancer before their 20th birthday.[2]

There are many ways to show your support—every time someone volunteers or makes a donation we move one step closer to finding a cure for all forms of childhood cancer (link to Get Involved Landing Page).

[1] http://www.thelancet.com/series/childhoodcancer

[2] Childhood and Adolescent Cancer Statistics, 2014 http://www.acco.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=gAi0ji8IFPU%3d&tabid=670

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