UK Childhood Cancer Awareness Month to change to September

Charities and support groups who work with children and young people with cancer have announced that they will join together in September this year to raise awareness of the impact of childhood cancer and the need for more support for children, young people and their family.

Groups had previously raised awareness of childhood cancer during December in most of the UK. The move brings the whole of the UK into line with other countries of the world that use September as their Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, including the USA, Canada, Australia and Northern Ireland.

Charities and support groups also plan to adopt the gold ribbon, which is increasingly becoming the symbol for childhood cancer awareness worldwide.

Every day, 10 children and young people in the UK hear the shocking news that they have cancer. Treatment normally starts immediately, is often given many miles from home and can last for up to three years.

Although survival rates are now around 75%, cancer remains the single largest cause of death from disease in children and young people in the UK.

Among those charities and support groups planning to take part in the month and raise awareness for more support are CLIC Sargent, Cancer Research UK, CCLG (Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group) and Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research.

Lorraine Clifton, Chief Executive of CLIC Sargent, said: “By combining our awareness raising efforts about childhood cancer together with other countries in September, we’ll be able to reach more people, and hopefully attract more vital support for families who need it.”

Ashley Gamble, Executive Director of CCLG said: “While the overall improvements in treatment for childhood cancer in the UK are rightly hailed as a success, there is still a long way to go to ensure that all children can be cured, with no side effects. By working together, we hope that we can raise awareness of the impact of childhood cancer and encourage more people to support us to reach our goal.”

Kate Law, Cancer Research UK’s director of clinical trials, said: “Raising awareness for childhood cancer all together will allow us to concentrate our efforts on discovering better and kinder treatments. Although survival for childhood cancer has improved, there is an urgent need to develop new treatments with fewer side effects, and by working together we can ensure there are even more childhood cancer survivors in the years to come.”