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New information and support hub puts spotlight on children’s cancer

Cancer Australia today launched a new online hub to support and inform children and families and meet the challenge of a diagnosis and lived experience of children’s cancer.

"While more children are surviving cancer and childhood cancer is rare compared to adult cancer, it is still a leading cause of disease- related death for children in Australia", said Professor Dorothy Keefe CEO Cancer Australia.

"In 2020, it is estimated that 870 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in children in Australia.”

"A diagnosis of childhood cancer is an extremely challenging and confronting time for children, their parents, immediate and extended family. Facing such a diagnosis can be overwhelming and leave families with many questions and concerns.”

"Many children with cancer can be cured, but the treatments can be difficult and have ongoing side effects. Children need a lot of care and support from family, friends and carers, which can be critical in helping them to cope with the challenge of cancer,” said Professor Keefe.

The easily accessible and user-friendly Children's Cancer website released during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, provides the latest evidence-based information, statistics, resources and links for children affected by cancer, their parents, families and health professionals.

The new hub was created in consultation with families affected by childhood cancer and paediatric cancer experts, and provides high-quality information on a range of topics including types of cancer that affect children, living with cancer, life after cancer, finding support, clinical trials, and data on stage at diagnosis.

Children undergoing treatment for cancer may be more susceptible to COVID-19, and information and advice is also included about the care and protection of children with cancer during the pandemic.

"Families with children who have weakened immune systems due to cancer treatment should follow isolation precautions and if symptoms develop, contact their doctor or cancer care team right away,” said Professor Keefe.

The new website will also provide, for the first time, support resources and information for children themselves, including a new video animated, Cancer Sucks.

Speaking to children directly, Cancer Sucks follows a day in the life of 9-year-old boy who has cancer. The video, developed with RedKite, underscores the reaffirming message that no matter what type of day a child with cancer is experiencing, their family, friends, healthcare team and teacher are there to support them.