Treatment is becoming more successful for childhood cancers.
Advances in treating childhood cancer are paying off with a continued decline in death rates.
New government data shows that brain cancer is now the deadliest childhood cancer in the U.S., ahead of leukemia, a result of improved leukemia treatment and a frustrating lack of progress on brain cancer.
Government statisticians reported the change in rankings Friday, drawing from a review of 15 years of death certificates.
“I think most people, when they think of childhood cancer, think of leukemia,” said Sally Curtin of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “This is kind of a changing of the guard.”
Cancer is the fourth leading cause of death for children overall, accounting for about 1 in 10 childhood deaths in 2014. About a quarter these cancer deaths, or 534, were due to brain cancer. There were 445 leukemia deaths.
Overall, the report shows a 20 percent drop in cancer deaths among children and adolescents from 1999 to 2014.
Accidental injuries remained the leading cause of death for those under 19, followed by suicide and murder, according to the report.
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