September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month (CCAM). This month has a lot of significance, but what does it mean? Well, childhood cancer is the leading cause of death by disease among children under 15 years old in the United States and Canada. Let’s explore some of the ways to identify childhood cancer and what you can do to support Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
Child Cancer Symptoms
One of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month’s most significant issues is commonplace misdiagnosis of childhood cancers. Fortunately, childhood cancers are actually quite rare. On the flip side, however, this often means that many doctors are not used to seeing these diseases, making it easy to miss the signs.
Too often, childhood cancers are easily be misdiagnosed for conditions like croup or a virus, making it difficult to treat the cancer in time
According to the American Cancer Society, some of the most common signs of childhood cancer to look out for include:
- Unusual lumps or swelling
- Easy bruising or bleeding (such as excessive bleeding from even minor cuts)
- Unexplained weight loss
- A fever lasting more than a week or two
- Fatigue & paleness
- Ongoing pain (in a particular part of the body)
- Frequent headaches (especially with vomiting)
- Sudden eye problems or vision changes
One of the best ways to support Childhood Cancer Awareness Month is by talking about childhood cancers with your friends and family. By recognizing its prevalence, people are more likely to take any symptoms seriously. Here are other ways you can support.
How To Support Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
Donate to childhood cancer research
There are many organizations out there that could use your support. Donate directly to Childhood Cancer Awareness’ official organization, to the American Childhood Cancer Organization (ACCO), or to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the nation’s leader in childhood cancer treatment and research. Through your donation, you provide support, information, and services to families going through one of the toughest battles of their lives.
Wear blue on September 29th, Childhood Cancer Awareness Day
This is a fun way to show your support and help raise childhood cancer awareness! Encourage others to participate in childhood cancer research by signing up as a childhood researcher or sharing their story with researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Get yourself (and the fam!) a blue cancer awareness shirt before the end of the month so that you’ll be ready!
Volunteer with someone who has been affected by childhood cancer
Get involved with or host your own childhood cancer fundraiser! There are many great ideas for hosting your own childhood cancer fundraiser out there! For example, with the Children’s Cancer Research Fund, you can volunteer at events, family support programs or outreach and advocacy.
Participate in an event or race that supports childhood cancer research
During September, St. Jude hosts their annual walk/run event all over the country. Join the thousands of people that walk or run each year to raise awareness. Find the one nearest you or participate virtually and register with some friends and family!
Finally, share this blog with others to help raise more childhood cancer awareness. By supporting Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, you can help raise money for childhood cancer research and treatment.