National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
A Time to Celebrate Progress and Fight for a Cure
September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month! Let’s come together to celebrate the progress we’ve made in the fight against childhood cancer and fight for a cure. This year, we are especially celebrating the passage of the Childhood Cancer STAR Reauthorization Act, which will significantly invest in childhood cancer research and care.
The Childhood Cancer STAR Reauthorization Act of 2022 is a landmark legislation investing significantly in childhood cancer research and care. The bill, signed into law by President Biden in January 2023, will provide $5.8 billion over five years to support research on new and better treatments for childhood cancer, improve childhood cancer surveillance, and enhance support for survivors and their families.
Important provisions of the Childhood Cancer STAR Reauthorization Act:
- Expanded research funding: The bill will provide $3.5 billion for research on new and better treatments for childhood cancer. This funding will support clinical trials, basic research, and translational research that aims to translate laboratory discoveries into new therapies for children with cancer.
- Improved childhood cancer surveillance: The bill will provide $1 billion to improve childhood cancer surveillance. This funding will support state cancer registries, which track childhood cancer incidence and survival rates. This information is essential for understanding the burden of childhood cancer and identifying new disease trends.
- Enhanced support for survivors and their families: The bill will provide $1.3 billion to enhance support for childhood cancer survivors and their families. This funding will support programs that provide financial assistance, mental health counseling, and other resources to help survivors cope with the long-term effects of cancer.
Major research institutions that are involved in the STAR Act:
The Childhood Cancer STAR Reauthorization Act of 2022 (STAR Act) supports research at various institutions across the United States. Some of the major research institutions that are involved in the STAR Act include:
- National Cancer Institute (NCI): The NCI is the leading federal agency for cancer research. The NCI is responsible for funding and conducting research on childhood cancer, and it also provides support to other research institutions that are conducting childhood cancer research.
- Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP): CHOP is another leading pediatric research hospital in the STAR Act. CHOP is conducting research on a variety of childhood cancer treatments, including immunotherapy and precision medicine.
- Dana-Farber Cancer Institute: Dana-Farber is a leading cancer research institute also involved in the STAR Act. Dana-Farber is researching various childhood cancer treatments, including new forms of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
- Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center: Memorial Sloan Kettering is a leading cancer research institute also involved in the STAR Act. Memorial Sloan Kettering is researching various childhood cancer treatments, including new forms of surgery and bone marrow transplantation.
For families with a child with cancer, the STAR Act means:
- New hope for a cure: The bill will fund research on new and better treatments for childhood cancer, including immunotherapy, precision medicine, and gene therapy. This research has the potential to lead to new cures for childhood cancer, and it gives families hope for their child’s future.
- Improved access to care: The bill will fund programs to improve access to childhood cancer care, including programs to help families pay for treatment and programs to train more doctors and nurses in childhood cancer care. This will make it easier for families to get their child’s care when needed.
- More support for survivors: The bill will fund programs to support childhood cancer survivors, including programs to help survivors cope with the physical and emotional effects of cancer and programs to help survivors transition to adulthood. This support will help survivors live long and healthy lives after cancer.
- Fund a new national childhood cancer registry to track childhood cancer incidence and survival rates. This information will help researchers better understand the disease and develop better treatments.
- Support research on the late effects of childhood cancer, which are the long-term health problems that can occur after cancer treatment. This research will help doctors better care for survivors and prevent or manage late effects.
- Provide grants to help states improve their childhood cancer care systems. This funding will help states ensure that all children with cancer receive high-quality care.
- Fund a new pilot program to provide comprehensive care for childhood cancer survivors. This program will bring together doctors, nurses, social workers, and other providers to provide survivors with the care they need to live long and healthy lives.
If the STAR Act is successful, it will l accelerate progress in childhood cancer research and care and provide much-needed support to survivors and their families. If you have a child with cancer, you should be encouraged by this important legislation. It is a sign that our country is committed to finding a cure for childhood cancer and improving survivors’ quality of life.
How Can YOU Help This Month?
This is a time to wear gold, raise awareness, and donate to organizations that are working to make a difference. Let’s show our support for the kids who are fighting this disease and their families. Together, we can make a difference!
Here are some specific ways you can get involved in Childhood Cancer Awareness Month:
- Wear gold–Gold is the official color of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Wear gold clothing, accessories, or jewelry to show your support.
- Raise awareness–Talk to your friends, family, and coworkers about childhood cancer. Share information about the disease and the importance of research.
- Donate to a charity-There are many charities that are working to fight childhood cancer. Donate to a charity that you care about.
- Volunteer your time–There are many ways to volunteer your time to help children with cancer. You can visit children in the hospital, help with fundraising events, or advocate for better childhood cancer care. Check out volunteer opportunites with Here To Serve.
Let’s make September a month to remember! Together, we can make a difference in the fight against childhood cancer.
Need Cancer Support?
The passing of this important bill is a testament to the hard work of families, advocates, and researchers fighting for this legislation for years. With this new law, along with cancer families, Here To Serve is hopeful to be one step closer to a future where no child dies from cancer. Here To Serve can support your family as you navigate your child’s cancer diagnosis. As the only national nonprofit focusing on the cancer journey helping families with their day-to-day life, including finances, meals, housekeeping, childcare, pet care, transportation, and more, we are the missing link you might so critically need. Please don’t hesitate to contact us and get help immediately.
By Sameera Rangwala, M.S., M.P.H
About the Author
Sameera Rangwala spent 15 years in the biotechnology industry and is currently a life science educator for children in grades 5-8. As a scientist and research professional, she uses her skills to blog and provides words of support to the cancer community.
All content in this blog is for informational and educational purposes only. Always consult a medical provider in your particular area of need before making significant changes in your medical decisions or lifestyle.