About Childhood Cancer

Childhood cancer is a devastating diagnosis for patients and their families.

The types of cancers that occur in children are different from cancers that occur in adults, different in their causes, the way they grow and spread, and how they respond to treatment. However, paediatric oncologists are often faced with little option but to treat childhood cancers with repurposed drugs developed for adult cancers.

Currently, treatment is long and it is gruelling, and sadly many children who survive a cancer diagnosis are left with long-term or even life-long health issues due to the high toxicity of their treatment.

Research to uncover new and kinder treatment is critical to improving long-term outcomes for children with cancer and is at the heart of what we do.

The challenge of childhood cancer

Cancer kills more children than any other disease in Australia

1,000 children and adolescents across the country are diagnosed with cancer each year.

Sadly, 150 children won’t survive and of the 850 that do over 550 will be left with long term chronic side effects, such as brain injuries, vision loss and learning difficulties, due to the toxicity of treatment.

In the past 40 years, only 12 drugs have been approved for childhood cancer. Yet in the same timeframe over 500 were approved for adults.

Download the fact sheet here.

The Children’s Cancer Foundation works to not only spread awareness of this disease but also supports the children, families and clinical researchers who are fighting childhood cancer every single day.

The Foundation established the Victorian Paediatric Cancer Consortium (VPCC) in 2021 to bring together leading researchers, academic and clinical organisations – to work together and make things better for children and adolescents with cancer through world-class medical research and innovation.

Help change the path of childhood cancer