Cancer in children is not the same as cancer in adults.

Treat children as children – our campaign to bring to your attention the serious differences between cancer in children and cancer in adults.

Children’s cancers are very different from adult cancers. They occur in different parts of the body, they’re different at a molecular level and they respond differently to treatment.

The impact of treatment and the long term side effects experienced by survivors of childhood cancer are also very different. Specialised childhood cancer research is vital to improving survival rates and the quality of survival. Therefore we need more treatment options for cancer in children. We urgently need kinder and safer treatments, specifically tailored to treat children without damaging their growing bodies.

When dealing with cancer, a child with cancer may have to grow up more quickly and miss out on their childhood as they face the realities of having cancer. The whole process of dealing with a cancer diagnosis can seem utterly terrifying and incredibly isolating. During cancer treatment, it’s important that children hold onto their childhood – we must continue to treat children as a children as much as possible throughout their whole cancer journey.

Felix tells us what it's like to have cancer when you're 10 years old

Felix was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) when he was just 10 years old.

Felix is now 15 and he tells us what being a child with cancer was like for him. He tells us what he missed during those years of treatment and what helped to get him through.

Share Felix’s video on your FacebookTwitter or LinkedIn pages and help raise more awareness of the serious differences between cancer in children and cancer in adults and the importance of treating children as children.

Read Felix’s story

Survey: Experiences of living with childhood cancer

In May 2021 we asked childhood cancer survivors and parents of childhood cancer survivors to fill in a survey about their experience of cancer. This research has given us really useful insights into the impact of cancer on a child’s lifestyle and experience growing up. Thank you to everyone who took part.

Our childhood years are so crucial to our development in establishing relationships, making lifetime bonds with friends and laying the foundations of education leading to future careers. For many children, a cancer diagnosis severely impacts these key developments.

That’s why it’s so important to shine the light on childhood cancer experiences. Here are the results from our survey:

Nick Goulden, Trustee at Children with Cancer UK, said:

We know the difference that more personalised, more effective treatments make to a patient’s life. These kinder, less toxic childhood cancer treatments not only increase survival rates but mean that they suffer fewer debilitating side effects – helping to ensure that more children can live their childhood and future lives as they should.

We are continuing to fund research into different treatments so that ultimately more children can live their childhood at home with their family, playing with friends and learning in the classroom, rather than spending time in and out of hospital and suffering from the side effects of treatment.

About Children with Cancer UK’s Treat Children as Children polling: 

Survey undertaken by OnePoll between 26th May to 15th June 2021. 114 UK adults who were diagnosed with cancer aged 0-24 and 227 UK parents/guardians of a child who was diagnosed with cancer aged 0-24 were polled.

Louis tells us what it's like to have cancer when you're just 19 months old

Louis was just 19 months old when he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) in September 2009.

Louis is now 13 years old and in his own words he tells us his childhood cancer journey, the things he would have changed if he could, new cancer terms he had to learn and why children should be treated as children with specialised childhood cancer research.

Share Louis’ video on your FacebookTwitter or LinkedIn pages and help raise more awareness of the serious differences between cancer in children and cancer in adults and the importance of treating children as children.

Read Louis’ story

Treating children differently from adults

Bringing back childhood fun

You’re helping us to provide fun outings for children with cancer and their families. For the moment these are virtual events and parties, but we’re looking forward to having some ‘actual’ outings in the not too distant future.

Newsletter icon
Newsletter icon

Sign up to our e-newsletter today

Sign up to our e-newsletter and receive exclusive stories straight to your inbox. You will also find out about our latest childhood cancer research news along with updates on our fundraising events, charity news and opportunities to support us. Don’t miss out!

By signing up to this newsletter I agree to receive general and financial appeal emails from Children with Cancer UK