Some good news in the war against cancer. The death rates for children and teens has declined. The cancer death rate for children aged 1 through 19 dropped 20% from 2.85 to 2.28 per 100,000 children between 1999 and 2014. Treatment of pediatric cancer is a relatively niche discipline: 1,785 children and teens died of cancer in the U.S. in 2014.
In addition, the number of children in that age group who died of leukemia also dropped 20% in the same period. That means that leukemia, the most common type of childhood cancer, is no longer the leading cause of cancer deaths. Survival among children with leukemia has improved to the degree that brain cancer now tops the list, according to the CDC.
“It had been leukemia for decades, but only recently has there been this switch,” said lead researcher Sally Curtin, who is with the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics.