NEW YORK, Sept. 1, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Today begins "Childhood Cancer Awareness Month," a fitting time to bring focus to the enormous funding gap between childhood and adult cancer. Cancer is the leading cause of disease-associated mortality in children aged younger than 19 years in the United States. Yet, less than 8% of the federal research budget for the National Cancer Institute is allocated to pediatric oncology. Furthermore, funding efforts focus on treatment and cure, when what is really needed is funding for prevention.
Jonathan Agin, JD, the Executive Director for the Max Cure Foundation explains, "During this month, the Max Cure Foundation will join multiple stakeholders, including other CAC2 members, to release a critical new report that addresses the increase in childhood cancer diagnoses and highlights possible prevention measures. The release of the report is the culmination of more than two years of work and represents the beginning of a more inclusive discussion to put prevention on equal footing with treatment and the cure."
Understanding that most childhood cancers are non-hereditary, where do we look? Scientific evidence exists that children experience a greater susceptibility to harm from the exposure to toxic chemicals (many of which are known carcinogens). Studies exist that show some common toxic chemicals create alterations at the cellular level creating greater vulnerability to a cancer diagnosis. According to Dr. Philip Landrigan, MD, MSc, FAAP, "In the United States we have some of the weakest chemical policies of any country in the Western world. Federal agencies in our country are not keeping dangerous chemicals out of products intended for use by children. The result is that all of our children are at risk of exposure every day to chemicals that should never been allowed on the market in the first place."
This new Childhood Cancer Prevention Initiative also calls on companies to become part of the solution. Anne Reynolds Robertson, Founder of Toxic Free Future for Our Children, is no stranger to the toxicity of business practices commenting, "Through the Childhood Cancer Prevention Initiative, we can make significant inroads into raising the awareness of the impact toxic chemicals have on babies and children, and equally as important, make progress on advancing a range of marketplace solutions, including driving retailers and manufacturers to turn off the tap on toxic chemicals and replace them with viable, safer alternatives."
"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure…" Benjamin Franklin was a visionary when he spoke those famous words. In the context of childhood cancer, preventing the distribution and exposure to toxic chemicals that are either known carcinogens or that act with other chemicals to cause cancer, will have the positive benefit of reducing the number of children diagnosed each year. Prevention most certainly will not supplant the need to develop better therapies. It will, however, ensure that there will be fewer children needing them in the first place.
The Max Cure Foundation, Inc. ("MCF") is a national 501(c)(3) childhood cancer organization founded and principally located in New Jersey whose programs have an impact across the country. MCF's mission is to fund research for the development of pediatric cancer therapies, including funding to discover less toxic treatments for children, to financially assist low income, military and first- responder families with a child in active treatment, and through advocacy, to pursue legislative and regulatory changes that benefit children with cancer and, at the same time, raise awareness to the needs of those fighting pediatric cancer.
The Coalition Against Childhood Cancer serves all stakeholders in the pediatric cancer space and strives to unite and amplify the collective efforts of the childhood cancer community. CAC2 exists to ensure that the childhood cancer community benefits from greater levels of coordinated action and collaboration that leverage the unique strengths of its members, minimizes waste of precious resources and expertise, and drives better outcomes for patients and their families.
For media inquiries, or to arrange interviews, please contact Giselle Chollett at [email protected], or 917.386.7116.
SOURCE Max Cure