The CDC has announced that brain tumors now have the highest mortality rate of all childhood cancers. The numbers were reported on September 16, 2016 after statisticians reviewed 15 years of death certificates. It is reported that 10% of all childhood deaths were caused by cancer in 2014, and within that 10%, more than one-quarter, or approximately 534, were due to brain cancer.
Overall the cancer death rates in children have lowered by 20% in the past 17 years due to medical advancements. It is reported that other cancers, such as leukemia, which was the previously the top cancer killer, have a declining death rate due to greater advancements in treatment and high research funding.
There are many reasons that brain cancer has not had the same success including the obstacles of navigating the brain during surgery and inability for some drugs to penetrate the blood brain barrier. Radiation therapy is normally not an option for children with brain cancer because the treatment can severely affect a child’s developing brain.
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