Queenslanders are being urged to go gold for childhood cancers this month by donating to cancer research and support services.
More than 640 Australian children are diagnosed with cancer each year.
Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift said more funding was urgently needed.
“Cancer remains the most common cause of disease-related death among children under the age of 15 in Australia,” Ms Clift said.
“Almost half of all cases are diagnosed in children under four years of age. The incidence rate for children under four years old is gradually increasing, but the reasons for this are unclear.
“We urgently need increased investment in all types of cancer research to improve diagnosis and treatment.
“We believe community donations are key to helping us cure childhood cancer once and for all, and Queenslanders can be part of funding lifesaving research and support services this month.”
Leukaemias are the most common cancers diagnosed among Australian children, accounting for 33 per cent of all cases, followed by tumours of the central nervous system and lymphomas.
Cancer Council Queensland independently funds and manages the Australian Paediatric Cancer Registry – one of only a few national clinical registers of childhood cancer in the world.
“A critical aspect of our work in children’s cancers, along with managing the national registry, is to provide information and support to children and families in need,” Ms Clift said.
“As well as our range of cancer publications, we provide confidential phone information and support via Cancer Council’s 13 11 20.
“To assist GPs and health professionals, Cancer Council has launched a ‘red flags’ guide, alerting health professionals to the warning signs of cancer in children.
“Families can also download a free booklet on talking to kids about cancer via www.cancerqld.org.au.”
September is International Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
For more information or interviews, please contact:
Katie Clift, Executive Manager, Media and Spokesperson, Cancer Council Queensland