Every day, Kristen Fix and Brandee Aquilino, members of the AYA and Pediatric Psychosocial Team at RPCI, offer guidance and support to adolescents and young adults diagnosed with cancer as they navigate the road to recovery.
As a teen, Donna Warner worshiped the sun from dawn to dusk. Eager to achieve a bronze complexion like her dark-haired siblings, her fair skin took a beating. Ignoring the painful sunburns she often endured, Donna continued to tan for many years.
More than 90 percent of children younger than 10 years of age who are diagnosed with cancer are treated at cancer centers that participate in National Cancer Institute (NCI)-sponsored clinical trials, and more than half of them are enrolled onto a study. This helps explain the dramatic improvements in survival rates for pediatric cancers over the past three decades.
The types of cancers that develop in children are different from those that develop in adults. Lifestyle or environmental risk factors don’t play a role. Instead, it’s usually the result of DNA changes in cells that take place very early in life.