Childhood cancer versus adult cancer

Adult cancers often arise because of damage to mature organs and tissues. Cancers in children develop at the time that their tissues and organs are growing and maturing.  

Childhood cancers are treatable and long-term survival is a realistic goal. More than 80% of children with cancer are cured. 

  • over 80% of serious cancers in adults belong to a group of cancers called carcinomas (e.g. prostate, breast, lung, skin cancer)
  • in contrast, less than 5% of cancers in children are carcinomas
  • for children, cancers of the blood and bone marrow, muscles and bones and brain and kidney are most common.
Last updated Wednesday 26th June 2024