Childhood Cancer Rates Higher for Older Youth

Childhood Cancer Diagnoses, by Age Group: 2011-2015

Childhood cancer rates of diagnosis are higher among older youth. Similar to rates in the United States, 23 per 100,000 teens ages 15-19 were diagnosed with cancer in California from 2011 to 2015 compared with 16 per 100,000 children under age 15. Difference in cancer rates by age is consistent across race/ethnicity groups. Moreover, older and younger youth are diagnosed with different types of cancer.

Pediatric cancer care is highly specialized depending on the type of cancer. The patient’s age also plays a role in determining the best medical approach to provide each child with the highest chance of survival and full recovery. Palliative care, which provides supportive services for sustaining quality of life during and after treatments, also should be age-specific. Many of us can play a role in improving the quality of life for pediatric patients and their families as they face complex physical, emotional, and logistical challenges throughout diagnoses, hospital stays, and beyond.

Policies and programs are key to maximizing positive health outcome and quality of life for pediatric cancer patients.

Learn more about addressing pediatric cancer in policies & programs »

Additional Resources

Treating Cancers in Adolescents, from the American Cancer Society, describes the uniqueness of treating cancer among older youth.

The Innovation Pop-Up Space at Stanford’s Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Program gives patients a place to create their own inventions while receiving treatment.

Spotlight on Hope Film Camp recognizes that cancer is fought on many fronts. Through creativity and film production, this camp offers a respite to youth who are fighting cancer.

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