This is Michael. Since Melissa and Ashley are in Washington, DC this weekend representing Cannonball Kids' cancer Foundation at CureFest and continuing our fight to develop more research to determine the cause and origin of children's cancers, I thought I would discuss one of the common questions we have received about Cannon: Can cancer be inherited? Is cancer genetic?
There is a difference between the two questions, and the answer to both is likely different. I say likely, because again, there is not enough known to be absolutely certain. It is another reason why CKc must continue its mission. And we will. There is plenty of evidence in the cancer research studies that cancer is not inherited in adults; however, there is not much evidence explaining why children develop cancer at such a young age. This opens a door for people to wonder if cancer in children is actually hereditary. However, there is better evidence claiming that cancer is genetic. Genetic means that the genes of the person cause the disease. Hereditary means that it is passed through the genes from generation to generation. Because the definitions of hereditary and genetic are so close, it is clear to why many people my believe cancer is hereditary. Bottom line? We still don't know why cancer strikes our babies, infants, toddlers, children, pre teens, teens and young adults. And in this age of what is known about the ability of computer technology and the fact that Google and Netflix know how to measure how you live your life through computer usage and Apple can bring to market a new iPhone every 18 months, that seems unacceptable to parents of children with cancer. And it is.
Childhood cancer Awareness Fact of the Day: There are 12 major types of cancer found in children. The most common types of childhood cancer include leukemia (acute lymphoid leukemia [ALL] accounts for 75% of all childhood leukemia cases), brain cancer, lymphoma (Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin), sarcoma (rhabdomyosarcoma, osteosarcoma, and Ewing's sarcoma), neuroblastoma, Wilms tumor, and retinoblastoma. Other childhood cancers include hepatocellular carcinoma, germ cell tumors, pleuropulmonary blastoma, and other less common cancers of children. The cancers with the highest incidence in children are leukemia, lymphoma, and cancers of the brain/ONS, which together constitute 64% of the cancers affecting children under age 15 and 47% of the cancers in children aged 15−19.
Childhood cancer occurs regularly, randomly and spares no ethnic group, socioeconomic class, or geographic region anywhere in the world. The causes of childhood cancers are largely unknown, and for the most part they cannot be prevented. A few conditions, such as Down's syndrome, other specific chromosomal and genetic abnormalities, and radiation exposures, explain a small percentage of cases. But, for the great majority, the cause of cancer in children is unknown and not preventable.
Source: CureSearch, and An Analysis of the National Cancer Institute’s Investment in Pediatric Cancer Research 2013, National Cancer Institute, U.S.Department of Health and Human Services
Help us at Cannonball Kids' cancer by making a donation today at cannonballkidscancer.org. Your donation goes directly towards funding pediatric cancer research trials. Only research and development through trials and bench to bedside work will stop this madness. We believe we can do it.
For ALL the parents who have lived this personal hell, have lost a child unjustly to children's cancer or are battling every day not to, please help raise awareness, please donate blood, please donate time, money and effort to fund children's cancer research so that someday, someday... cancer in children will NEVER exist. Thank you to all of you who do this regularly for CKc and for these kids and in honor of those already unjustly lost.
Go Gold in September.