Childhood cancer deaths: Brain cancer overtakes leukemia as top cause

September 17, 2016

brain tumor

Leukemia is the most common childhood cancer, but brain cancer, not leukemia, now is the top cause of death from pediatric malignancies, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. As overall mortality from childhood cancer continues to decline, progress has been substantially greater in leukemia than brain tumors, pediatric neuro-oncologist Peter Manley, MD, tells Live Science. "Overall, the important thing to take from this [report] is that, across the board, there are significantly [fewer pediatric] cancer deaths just in the last 15 years," Manley says. "So the hope is, in the next 15 years, we'll continue to see that decline."

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