Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
This month we want to raise awareness about childhood cancer. Cancer in children occur when formerly-healthy cells mutate, and replicate much more than they should. When that happens, they can also destroy nearby healthy cells and invade different parts of the body. Most children’s cancers are caused by random genetic mutations.
Each year 15,700 children are diagnosed with cancer. 50 years ago, childhood cancer had a 10% survival rate. Today the survival rate is 90%!
Cancer, and the treatments that cure it, can be accompanied with many symptoms that therapy can help with. For example, physical therapy can help children maintain or get back strength, endurance, and movement skills. Occupational therapy can help children to participate in self-care, play, and fine motor skills. Speech therapy can help with language/communication and swallowing problems.
There are many organizations that support and advocate for families affected by childhood cancer through research and events. To learn more about them and to find out how you can get involved, check out their websites. American Childhood Cancer Organization, Go Gold Fund, and Children’s Cancer Research Fund are just a few.
This year the MLB is joining the fight against childhood cancer. On Friday September 1st all Major League players, coaches, umpires, and grounds crew members with wear gold ribbon decals and wristbands. Each club will also be hosting different events throughout the month to help raise awareness about childhood cancer.
Matthew D’Antonio, PT, DPT
Pediatric Physical Therapist