Deaths from leukemia, once the leading cause of cancer death among U.S. children, nearly halved between 2001 and 2021, according to a report released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CNN.
Since then, brain cancer has become the leading cause of cancer death in children, accounting for about 1/4 of all cancer deaths among those under the age of 20.
Death rates among children from cancer are a quarter lower than they were two decades ago, but the decline has not been uniform for all groups.
According to the report, there will be 2.1 cancer deaths for every 100,000 children under the age of 20 in 2021, down 24% from 2001, when they were about 2.8.
Death rates declined at similar rates among black, white, and Hispanic children between 2001 and 2011, and no significant difference in death rates was observed. Over the next decade, however, rates continued to decline only among white children. According to the CDC report, in 2021, the cancer death rate among white children is about 20% lower than among black or Hispanic children.
Childhood cancer deaths fell in all age groups between 2001 and 2011, but the significant decline continued only among children under 10 between 2011 and 2021, the report shows. Still, the death rate from cancer among teenagers – where the death rate is higher than that of other children – in 2021 was 23% lower than in 2001.
Overall, cancer is the fourth leading cause of death among children ages 1 to 19 in the U.S., according to CDC data.