Number of children dying from cancer falls

Number of children dying from cancer falls

The annual number of children dying from cancer in the UK has fallen over the last decade, new figures have revealed.

According to Cancer Research UK, around 330 children died from cancer ten years ago. However, the figure now stands at about 260.

Data also showed that whereas the death rate for cancer deaths in under-14s was around 30 fatalities per million 2004, it has since fallen to nearly 23 deaths per million.

Professor Richard Gilbertson, a senior group leader at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute, has hailed this development, saying research has helped more and more children survive cancer. However, he said more still needs to be done.

"This work is not finished - better, kinder treatments must continue to be our target," he commented..

"We need to build on the progress we’ve already made by continuing to fund research into children’s cancers, including developing better medicines that also reduce any long-term side effects."

Professor Pam Kearns, director of the Cancer Research UK Clinical Trials Unit in Birmingham, added that progress remains limited in particular areas, such as bone and brain tumours.

She stated that many young cancer survivors also live with long-term side-effects of treatments that affect them throughout their adult lives.

This, she said, means it is vital that scientists develop less toxic and more efficacious treatments.