The month of September is observed as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Sadly, many families have to endure the unfortunate circumstances of their children having to fight off this horrible disease. Though cancer in children has a higher survival rate as technology has improved, cancer is the number one leading cause of death in children in America. One child is diagnosed with cancer every 80 seconds worldwide. Over 400,000 children are diagnosed with cancer globally every year. The exact frequency of cancer in children in the Cayman Islands is unknown (however an estimate has been made – see more here).
Childhood Cancer Awareness Month aims to show the main signs & symptoms in childhood cancers but also spotlight the need for increased research into pediatric cancers, as well as improved treatments and therapies that are less toxic and more effective. It also aims to raise awareness of the emotional needs in addition to providing financial support to families battling childhood cancer and to honor the young warriors who demonstrate incredible strength and resilience in their fight against this life-threatening illness.
The two main types of cancers that are known to affect children are leukemia and brain tumours. To join in raising awareness and increasing education for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, we have provided some of the main symptoms and warning signs to be aware of. The symptoms below are more for childhood cancers in children ages 2+. It is important to note that developing cancer is rare for infants under one however it can still occur (see infant leukemia and brain tumours in children and infants for more information).
Main Symptoms of Leukemia in Children:
- Bruising and/or bleeding easily
- Easily getting an infection
- Unexplained weight loss
- and more…
Main Symptoms of Brain Tumours in Children:
- Headaches and nausea
- Eye and vision problems
- Problems with balance or coordination
- and more…
Childhood Cancer Awareness in Cayman
Throughout September, you will often see gold ribbons and other gold-themed symbols as a sign of solidarity with the childhood cancer community. Ultimately, Childhood Cancer Awareness Month serves as a reminder of the urgent need to prioritise the well-being and health of our youngest cancer patients.
Here in the Cayman Islands, we are lucky to have organisations like the Cayman Islands Cancer Society and Hannah’s Heroes. Cayman Islands Cancer Society provides information, resources along with guidance and support for individuals diagnosed with Cancer and their families and financial assistance during such difficult times. Hannah’s Heroes is an organisation that helps bring awareness to childhood cancer. Caymanian-born child, Hannah was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2012 at 4. While under treatment, Hannah had a relapse in 2013. By 2014, her tumors were gone with her determination and continued treatment. Though her tumors were gone, the treatment left her with various problems. The fund was created in Hannah’s name through St. Baldricks stating “kids like Hannah are worth fighting for.” Since 2013, over 2 million dollars has been raised.
Childhood Cancer Awareness Month aims to spotlight the need for increased research into pediatric cancers, as well as improved treatments and therapies that are less toxic and more effective. It also aims to provide emotional and financial support to families battling childhood cancer and to honor the young warriors who demonstrate incredible strength and resilience in their fight against this life-threatening illness.
To learn more about how you can help support the above organizations and/or donate this Childhood Cancer Awareness Month visit: