Care to Care LLC, a Multi-Specialty Management company, is proud to observe September as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Cancer remains the leading cause of death by disease in children less than 15 years of age in the United States. In 2016, 15,780 children under the age of 21 were diagnosed with cancer; that’s 43 children diagnosed each day. The number of diagnosed cases annually has not declined in nearly 20 years. Unfortunately, around 12% of children diagnosed with cancer do not survive and up to 60% of children who survive cancer suffer late-effects, such as infertility, heart failure and secondary cancers. Childhood cancers affect all ethnic, gender, and socio-economic groups.
As a Radiologist and Chief Medical Officer of Care to Care LLC, I recognize Childhood Cancer Awareness Month as a significant time to educate the public and health professionals on the importance of Radiation Safety. Children are considerably more sensitive to radiation exposure than adults, as demonstrated by epidemiologic studies of exposed populations. Since children have a longer life expectancy than adults, they have a larger window of opportunity for expressing radiation damage, most notably the development of cancer. As a result, the risk for developing a radiation-related cancer can be several times higher for a young child compared with an adult exposed to an identical CT scan. Major national and international organizations responsible for evaluating radiation risks agree that no amount of radiation should be considered absolutely safe and that only necessary CT examinations should be performed. For these reasons, it is of utmost importance to make sure that only appropriate radiographs and CT scans are being performed on children.
While researchers at pediatric cancer centers throughout the world are making great progress in the search for a cure, they need more funding and awareness to continue their work. You can get involved by learning, joining, sharing, and speaking up for kids with cancer.
Rachel Title, MD
Chief Medical Officer
Care to Care LLC