Bakalar reports that, from 1999 to 2014, the overall deaths from childhood cancer fell by 20 percent. The rate among 1- to 19-year-olds went down to 2.28 per 100,000 population, from 2.85.
Adolescents 15 to 19 were the most likely to die, but their rate fell by 22 percent.
There were no significant differences in the death rates of white and black children with cancer. Among whites, the rate declined 17 percent; among blacks, 23 percent. The death rate for boys was about 30 percent higher than that for girls.
Bakalar reports that in 1999, about a third of all cancer deaths among children were caused by leukemia, and a quarter by brain cancer. By 2014, these numbers had reversed — leukemia accounted for 24.9 percent of deaths, and brain cancer 29.9 percent.
“Many hope for cancer breakthroughs, or cancer moonshots,” she said. “But it’s a series of well-conceived trials where we’ve studied minor changes in standards of care which add up over decades to substantial gains in survival.”
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