Report: Childhood cancer cases up, but deaths down

by Mike Stabbe, Associated Press Medical Writer
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In this October 2012 photo provided by The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Emily Whitehead is checked by pediatric oncologist, Dr. Stephan A. Grupp, at the hospital. In early 2012, she was the first child given gene therapy for acute lymphocytic leukemia and shows no sign of cancer today, nearly 21 months after. (AP Photo/The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Ed Cunicelli)

In this October 2012 photo provided by The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Emily Whitehead is checked by pediatric oncologist, Dr. Stephan A. Grupp, at the hospital. In early 2012, she was the first child given gene therapy for acute lymphocytic leukemia and shows no sign of cancer today, nearly 21 months after. (AP Photo/The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Ed Cunicelli)

ATLANTA (AP) — A new report says childhood cancer cases continue to increase, but death rates have fallen by half.

The American Cancer Society report — released Friday — is being called one of the most comprehensive looks at the types of cancer that most commonly affect children and adolescents.

Childhood cancer is considered rare, especially compared with cancer in adults. Still, it’s the second leading cause of death in pre-adolescent, school-aged children.

It is growing more common. New diagnoses have been inching up each year, led by some types of blood and lymphatic cancers.

The good news: Childhood cancer death rates dropped more than 50 percent since 1975, to 24 per 1 million kids and adolescents in 2010.

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Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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