LANSING— Debilitating and unpredictable, childhood cancer claims the lives of dozens of children each year. Unlike many types of cancer acquired in adulthood, childhood cancer is most often unrelated to lifestyle and brings with it fewer safe treatment options.
State Sen. Dave Hildenbrand, R-Lowell, has been working to generate awareness for additional funding and research in childhood cancer.
“Regardless of economic standing, race, or gender, cancer can affect anyone,” Hildenbrand said. “Our children and their families should not be faced with the burden of fighting chronic illness without at least the reassurance of reliable and safe treatment options.”
In the last 25 years, only two drugs have been specifically developed for pediatric cancers. In the last 20 years, the FDA has initially approved only one drug for childhood cancer.
Funding for research and treatment is severely lacking, with less than five percent of the federal government’s total funding for cancer research dedicated to childhood cancers. Despite rising pediatric cancer rates in the past few decades, funding for research has decreased steadily since 2003.
On Sept. 11, 2014, the Michigan Senate adopted Hildenbrand’s Senate Resolution 176, declaring September 2014 “Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.”
“Although there is still much work to be done, this resolution aims to shed light on childhood cancer in hopes of providing safer treatment options,” Hildenbrand said. “I remain committed to the health and well-being of Michigan’s children and hope that future medical advancements include contributions to pediatric cancer.”