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International Childhood Cancer Statistics

Approximately 80 percent of children with cancer in many developing countries are likely to die from the illness, but New Zealand children are far more likely to survive.

These statistics were announced today as part of International Childhood Cancer Day, an initiative of the International Confederation of Childhood Cancer Parent Organisations (ICCCPO).

Simon Lala, Vice-President of ICCCPO and Chairman of the Child Cancer Foundation in New Zealand, says every year approximately 250,000 children throughout the world are diagnosed with cancer.

"We are fortunate in New Zealand that our children receive access to expert medical care when they are diagnosed with cancer, so our survival rates are correspondingly high," Mr Lala says.

Around 70 percent of children with cancer in New Zealand will survive the disease.

"Sadly, this is not the case in many developing countries," Mr Lala says. "In fact, only one in five children in the world receive basic access to cancer treatment," he says.

Mr Lala says the Child Cancer Foundation in New Zealand is proud to belong to the ICCCPO and pleased to be able to pass on advice to member countries that do not have the same access to resources.

"I believe we have a moral obligation to help ensure all children throughout the world receive the medical care to which they are entitled, including basic access to diagnosis and treatment, emotional support and ongoing help for long-term survivors of cancer."

ICCCPO represents parents and families of children with cancer in 43 countries throughout the world, including Argentina, Croatia, Canada, Iran, Mexico, Russia and the United Kingdom.

While events will be held throughout the world in recognition of International Childhood Cancer Day, Mr Lala says the Child Cancer Foundation in New Zealand will be holding its annual appeal from 2-8 April this year.

"As always, we will be hugely dependent on the work of volunteers and anyone interested in helping with the appeal should contact their nearest branch of the Child Cancer Foundation, or call (09) 373 3670," Mr Lala says.

The Child Cancer Foundation is a parent support organisation that offers practical and emotional support to families whose lives are thrown into turmoil when their children are diagnosed with cancer. It receives no government funding and relies heavily on public generosity and goodwill.

Ends

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