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Saturday, November 03, 2012


Thank you for your recent article on National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It made me wonder why a similar focused effort has not developed to address cancer that attacks children. – Barbara G., Pennsylvania

As noted in an earlier column, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is one of the most successful charity campaigns ever mounted. I haven’t seen totals yet as to the amount of funding generated this year, but according to American Cancer Society figures, corporate supporters Chevrolet and Lady Foot Locker alone have generated approximately $2.5 million toward the effort.

The point you make is one that comes up consistently. What will it take to beat cancer across the board, and how can we ensure that needed funding is allocated as widely as possible? According to the National Cancer Institute, cancer is the leading cause of death by disease among U.S. children between infancy and age 15. Despite this fact, childhood cancer research is considered to be significantly underfunded. Of the hundreds of millions of dollars raised by large cancer charities, the National Cancer Institute estimates that only approximately 1 to 3 percent of this funding will go to pediatric cancer research.


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