For children diagnosed with cancer today, the future looks a lot brighter than it did 40 years ago. Back in the 1970s, about a third of children diagnosed with cancer in the UK survived their disease for at least ten years. Now its jumped to around three quarters.
However we can’t forget that this still means some 250 children will lose their lives to cancer each year, making it the biggest cause of death by disease in young children in the UK.
It’s not just about survival. Treatments for children’s cancers can have side-effects that can last long into adult life. Although it’s good news that so many more children are surviving, this comes with the added challenge of finding kinder treatments and ways to manage these side effects.
There’s more that should – and can – be done.
The ambition at Cancer Research UK is that all young people diagnosed with cancer should survive and go on to live long, fulfilling lives. This means funding research into the inner workings of cancer in young people, along with clinical trials to test new treatments. But it also requires support from the political world in how laws and regulations are put in place that control how this research is managed.
There are concerns that one European Law in particular might not be up to scratch.
Read more about why EU law needs improving to help develop new treatments for young people at Cancer Research UK: