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Childhood cancers

In the UK almost 4,000 children and young people under 25 are diagnosed with cancer every year

A cancer diagnosis is upsetting at any age, especially when the patient is a child.

And sadly there are many different types of cancer that affect children but the major types in children ages 0-14 years are leukaemia, brain and other central nervous system (CNS), and intracranial tumours. 

These childhood cancers are not the same as adult cancers - the type of cancer, how advanced it is and how best to treat it differ between children and adults – so it’s important that we invest in research to help children with cancer.  

There are also many types of cancer treatment - common treatments include: surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy, and stem cell transplant.

The types of treatment that a child with cancer receives will depend on the type of cancer and how advanced it is, but often these treatments can have serious side effects.

That’s why research is vital for identifying which children need intensive treatment to help improve their chances of making a good recovery, whilst sparing children who need less aggressive treatment from invasive treatments that can have life-changing side effects. 

Brain tumours

Every year in the UK around 400 children are diagnosed with a brain tumour

Joey, pictured is lucky as 1 in 4 children with brain cancer lose their lives within 5 years. It is a horribly high statistic and one that with research we’re hoping to change.

Find out more about the research we're funding which is looking to identify how aggressive each child’s cancer is likely to be, much sooner and with greater accuracy, so treatments can be tailored to his or her individual needs.

Example image of cancer cells


Around 100 children are diagnosed with a type of cancer called neuroblastoma each year in the UK.

Most children with neuroblastoma are young – less than five years old. While some receive a positive prognosis, sadly, around a third of children lose their lives within five years of being diagnosed. We're currently funding two research projects to help change these shocking statistics.

Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia

Around 300 children develop a type of cancer called acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) each year in the UK

ALL is most common in young children who are less than five years old. Most children with ALL are cured, however treatment has side effects and some children still lose their lives.

Read about the research Action is funding to help change this.

A history of success

For over 65 years we’ve been saving and changing lives through medical research and have spent over £120m funding some amazing breakthroughs.

Today we fund a broad range of cutting-edge medical research across the UK to tackle premature birth, support children living with disabilities and develop treatments for rare and incurable diseases.