Today four children will be diagnosed with cancer in the UK. Of those who survive, 60% will suffer from late-effects caused by the treatments used to save their lives. These late effects can include bone issues, organ problems and developmental issues that require lifelong support from the NHS.
Childhood cancer has a lasting impact on those diagnosed and their families, and currently Covid19 is making this worse.
Impact on Childhood Cancer
Pressure on the NHS means that patients are facing delays in diagnosis, treatment and support. In addition, many families are facing tough decisions around treatments that will significantly reduce their child’s immune system, putting them at risk.
At Kidscan we believe that not even a pandemic should force a parent to make a decision about treatments that can put their child at risk, or stop a child who is suffering from late-effects from receiving the support they need. Because we believe that better treatments should be available in the first place.
Impact on Research
Covid19 has also impacted the research sector. The Association of Medical Research Charities predicts that due to a 38% loss in fundraising income across the charity sector, there will be a shortfall of £310 million by the end of the year, resulting in a 41% decrease in UK medical research spend. In the UK only 3.5% of cancer research is dedicated to childhood cancer2. We fear that as research spend decreases in a market that favours adult cancer, childhood cancer researchers will have no option but to change their focus.
Unique opportunity for research
Although Covid19 has impacted numerous sectors, not all effects are bad. Right now, scientists and researchers across the globe are coming together to fight Covid19. In an unprecedented response new techniques, communication methods and enhanced information sharing methods are being used which may also lead to breakthroughs in childhood cancer research.
At Kidscan we believe that it is important that we can take advantage of the rapid advancement in scientific collaboration that is happening right now, to find treatments that children deserve. Since lockdown we have seen a promising increase in funding applications, however, it costs between £2,000 and £65,000 to fund a single research project and in the current climate we simply cannot fund this level of research.
We estimate that because of Covid19 we have lost over half of our income. With the cancellation of mass participation events and the impact of social distancing measures, we expect this will continue. We have therefore launched an emergency appeal. We are asking individuals, businesses and communities to help us to Survive and Thrive, so that we can do the same for children diagnosed with cancer.
For more information visit: https://bit.ly/38fydnY
Alternatively view our report: https://bit.ly/31xlk7r