Cancer in children and young people is rare.
In the UK, only 1 in every 500 children under 15 develops a cancer. So about 1,600 children (up to the age of 15) in the UK are diagnosed with cancer each year. These cancers can be quite different from cancers affecting adults.
They tend to occur in different parts of the body to adult cancers. They also look different under the microscope and respond differently to treatment. In the UK, around 2,200 teenagers and young adults (15-24 years old) are diagnosed with cancer every year.
Cure rates for children are much higher than for most adult cancers. The survival rate for children’s cancer has more than doubled since the 1960s. On average, 82% (over 8 in 10) of all children can now be completely cured. For some types of children’s cancer, the cure rate is much higher.
There is a network of specialist centres, known as Principal Treatment Centres, for diagnosing and treating children’s and teenage/young adult cancers.
Find out more about childhood cancer
Types of childhood cancer
I am worried my child has cancer
My child has cancer