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Pediatric & Young Adult Cancers

Understanding the key facts and figures about pediatric & young adult cancer research.

In Canada, an average of 943 children aged 0-14 are diagnosed with cancer every year. These cancers act differently and are found in different organs in the body than those affecting adults. Every year an average of 119 children die from cancer in Canada. Cancer is slightly more common in adolescents and young adults aged 15-29, and on average is responsible for the deaths of 290 Canadians of that age group every year.

In general, tumours in children, adolescents and young adults grow more quickly and spread to other parts of the body faster. Childhood and adolescent cancers often have long-lasting consequences on those who survive them, with an estimated two-thirds of childhood cancer survivors having at least one chronic or long-term side effect from their treatment. 

The most common types of cancer affecting children, adolescents and young adults are leukemias, lymphomas, bran and central nervous system cancers and thyroid cancers.

Today, high-mortality rates, ineffective treatments and poor quality of life for many who survive certain types of pediatric and young adult cancers make these diseases a pressing health issue in Canada.

Our Research Strategy

Given these challenges, the Terry Fox Research Institute has embarked on a multi-pronged strategy to fund the best pediatric and young adult cancer scientific teams and programs in the country.

In 2017/18, roughly 8 per cent of the money invested by the TFRI supported pediatric and young adult cancer research. This added up to a total investment of $1.7 million.*

To allocate its resources, the Institute has international experts evaluate the excellence and the potential for impact of all its research projects. This approach distinguishes our research investment strategy from all others in Canada and allows donors to be confident that their investment is supporting the top 5% of Canadian researchers and their science.

*Our scientific discovery projects are interdisciplinary by design and often focus on more than one cancer type. The figures listed above are an estimate and should not be taken as exact figures.