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Costs Of Childhood Cancer Treatment And Research

2227 words - 9 pages

Cancer, one of the most feared words in our vocabulary of this time, especially in childhood (Druker 1). Most people when thinking of “childhood cancer” envision very young children, although a “Nation Institute of Health Policy concerning inclusion of children in clinical research defines children as being younger than twenty-one years of age while the Food and Drug Administration considers children to be fifteen years and younger” (Ries 158). That being said, most cancers incidence peak among children occurs during the first year of life (Gurney 149). Some of the most well-known nationwide childhood cancers are leukemia, brain cancer, and other central nervous system cancers (oeconline 1). In conjunction, “the side effects of treatment, which range from heart disease to brain damage, can linger for decades and cost nearly as much as therapy for the original cancer” (USATODAY 1). With the total cost of childhood cancer exceeding many people’s yearly salary, help and support are the main focus for many childhood cancer advocacies (disease.com 1). Therefore, increasing awareness is the first step to raising more advocacy and support for childhood cancer programs and research (StJude.org 2).
Childhood cancer treatment is an excessively pricey dilemma. It ranges from the cost per child to the overall cost. For example, “a new leukemia medication for children who no longer benefit from chemotherapy, costs $45,000 for a three week treatment cycle” (USATODAY 1). With the average time span of cancer treatment ranging from three months to roughly three years the price can climb to multiple figures (compasscare 1). The median cost per day for one child in a pediatric hospital for cancer treatment is nearly $1,000 more than the average per day hospital costs among all children and adolescence (Nagamine et al 2). Furthermore, the average cost of a single child in the hospital one day with no cancerous treatment is $1,900, while the average cost of a single child in the hospital one day with cancer treatment is about $2,700 (Nagamine et al 2). As one can see the price for one single child with cancer treatment that needs necessary care over multiple nights can be, on average, up to 6 figures in the United States (oeconline 2). Statistically, the national cost per child is about equivalent to $815,830 in 2007 dollars (oeconline 1). The average per day costs for pediatric cancer has increased consistently from 2000 to 2005 by over twenty percent, figuratively that is from $14,400 to $17,500 (Nagamine 2). Although the prices are already substantially high they are apparently still on the rise (Nagamine 2).
Raising awareness is a step in the right direction to escalating advocacy and support for childhood cancer research (acco.org 1). One nationwide project that brings in the most financial aid for visitors and patients is St. Jude’s Children's Research Hospital (StJude.org 1). The mission of St. Jude is "to advance cures and the means of prevention,...

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