International Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

September is International Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Cancer Australia describes Childhood Cancer Awareness Month as “a time when cancer organisations around the world put the spotlight on children’s cancer and the need to improve diagnosis, treatment and outcomes.”

This annual event was first launched in 2010 by then American president, Barack Obama. The symbol for International Childhood Cancer Awareness Month is a gold ribbon. According to Go Gold Australia: “A group of parents initiated the gold ribbon back in 1997. Now an international symbol, the gold ribbon creates global unity and represents all kids diagnosed with cancer and their families. The colour gold was chosen for kids cancer in recognition of their strength, their courage, and their resiliency.”

Landmarks from across the globe have gone gold to help spread the world about childhood cancer. This year on September 1st, the Sydney Opera House turned their sails gold to raise awareness for this important cause. Ten Daily also published a video which features interviews with children, parents and teenagers currently facing childhood.


If you’re a parent of a child with cancer or a parent of a childhood cancer survivor you may be wondering what you can do for International Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. You could wear a gold ribbon as a way to start a conversation about childhood cancer. Or you could share your story with us on Cancer Advisor to give others some insight into how childhood cancer impacts families. If you want to find out more about how you can share your story email

Cancer Advisor has a range of resources on childhood cancer, but we are always looking for more content. Join our community to recommend a resource, contribute content, or share your personal story. 

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    • Statistics and information about childhood cancers

      Researchers can’t tackle childhood cancer without a set of current, accurate, nationally consistent data – and that’s exactly what the Australian Children’s Cancer Registry provides. The ACCR is managed by Cancer Council Queensland with the assistance of all state and territory cancer registries and all treating paediatric oncology hospitals. It comprises more than 20,000 cases of childhood cancer diagnosed in Australia since 1983. While the statistics and information developed by the ACCR are of great benefit to clinicians and other researchers, they’re also freely available to anyone with an interest or involvement in childhood cancers including families of paediatric cancer patients. […]

    • Ben’s story: ‘Cancer has taught me a lot’

      Diagnosis & treatment After having a sore on his neck for a few weeks Ben decided to make an appointment with his local GP in Perth. Although Ben was more preoccupied about the sore, after hearing about Ben’s history of headaches the doctor insisted on getting tests done. A few weeks later, the 23-year-old was told he had a benign brain tumour and needed surgery. However, after testing the biopsy the tumour turned out to be a malignant four centimetre mass. It was classified as stage 2 with characteristics of stage 3 astrocytoma glioma. The mass was on the right […]

    • Germs, genetics and childhood leukaemia

      Mel Greaves received a knighthood late last year for his research into why children develop leukaemia. In this article from The Guardian, he explains how it’s now understood that a combination of genetic mutations in the womb, and chronic inflammation in response to infection, can lead to leukaemia developing. Greaves is currently working on a ‘cocktail of microbes’ that could block the inflammation response, potentially reducing the risk of leukaemia and other diseases.

    • Maddy Ritchie: I Don’t Know How She Does It

      Being 17 is complicated enough. Being told you have a rare pelvic tumour can really turn your world upside down. Meet Maddy: she’s now in her early 20s, two years cancer-free and a passionate volunteer with cancer charities. She speaks candidly about treatment, fertility, spirituality and how she got through her experience. From MamaMia’s ‘I Don’t Know How She Does It’ podcast series.

    • Cognitive difficulties after brain cancer

      The Conversation outlines the ways that cancer in a child’s brain has the potential to impact their overall future health and cause long-term disturbances to the central nervous system of survivors.intro Known as ‘late effects’, these cognition and communication difficulties can affect personal and social development. Early intervention can lessen the impact of such difficulties on survivors.   Cancer Advisor has a range of resources on brain cancer and late effects, but we’re always looking for more content. Leave a comment below, share your own story or recommend a resource.  


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