Skip to main content

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

This month, we honor those with pediatric cancer. St. Jude won't stop until no child — anywhere — dies from cancer.


Childhood Cancer Awareness Month facts

St. Jude has helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20% in 1962 to 80% today. 



43 children in the U.S. are diagnosed with cancer every day.

Treatments developed at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20% to more than 80% since it opened in 1962. St. Jude leads more clinical trials for childhood cancer than any other children's hospital in the U.S.


Worldwide, about 400,000 children and adolescents develop cancer each year, only half of whom are diagnosed.

Our global initiative with the World Health Organization aims to cure at least 60% of children with six of the most common cancers by 2030. To further advance cures, we share our research worldwide through data-sharing and analysis resources.


Nearly 10% of children with cancer develop the disease because they inherited a genetic mutation.

St. Jude works to uncover these mutations and increase the chances of early detection and treatment. We are finding out why some cancers run in families and why certain people get more than one cancer.


More than 95% of childhood cancer survivors will have significant chronic health issues.

About 483,000 childhood cancer survivors live in the U.S. Our groundbreaking survivorship studies provide a greater understanding of the long-term effects of pediatric cancer treatment and help researchers develop novel therapies to minimize those late effects.



Learn more childhood cancer facts.

yellow patient art by Violet

Our stories and research

Learn about our patients, their diagnosis and how St. Jude is helping.


  1. St. Jude patient Luna laughs with her dad

    Patient Luna came to St. Jude from Guatemala to be treated for acute lymphoblastic leukemia, which is a type of blood cancer.


    St. Jude not only offers new treatment without a cost to us, but along with that treatment comes empathy and a lot of warmth.

    — Luna's father


    St. Jude patient Luna

    Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)

    When Luna started to feel sick and stopped acting like herself, her parents became concerned. Doctors in her hometown in Guatemala confirmed what her parents had feared, Luna had acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), or blood cancer. 

    Read about Luna's treatment at St. Jude.


    Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)


    • Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a cancer of the blood and bone marrow.
    • It is the most common form of childhood cancer.
    • Therapy for ALL usually includes chemotherapy and may last for 2½–3 years.
    • The 5-year survival rate for childhood ALL is more than 94% at St. Jude.

    Our research on ALL

    Doctors have struggled to treat ALL when it is driven by genetic defects in the KMT2A gene. But St. Jude scientists found a way to bypass drug resistance for this cancer. They used two types of cell-growth blockers, which together can treat this cancer. 

  2. Ay'den and his mother embrace

    Ay'den, a gentle kid with a ready smile, was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia when he was 7.


    St.  Jude made us comfortable. I don’t know what I would have done without them.

    — Ay'den's mom


    St. Jude patient Ay'Den

    Acute myeloid leukemia (AML)

    One day, 7-year-old Ay’Den fell at school and everything changed. Ay’Den was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Ay’Den was referred to St. Jude, where he began receiving chemotherapy to try to save his life.

    Read about Ay'den's treatment for AML.


    Acute myeloid leukemia (AML)


    • Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a cancer that affects blood cells called myeloid stem cells. 
    • AML is the second most common childhood leukemia.  
    • Treatment may include chemotherapy and stem cell transplant (bone marrow transplant). 

    Our research on AML

    Certain proteins help T cells (a kind of white blood cell) attack AML tumors more effectively. St. Jude researchers discovered a way to control and enhance this process. These designer T cells won’t wear out as easily and can fight cancer for longer. 

  3. Patient Emma with her parents

    St. Jude patient Emma was diagnosed with a brain tumor when she was just 9 months old. Her "passion" now, said her mom, is learning to walk.


    You hear about all the good things St. Jude does, but you don’t understand until you’ve been there. St. Jude has given us another year and a half with her.

    — Emma's mom


    St. Jude patient Emma

    ATRT (Brain tumor)

    When Emma was found to have a tumor pressing on her brain stem at the age of 9 months, doctors did not think she would live to the biopsy scheduled for just four days later. When she did survive, she was referred to St. Jude for treatment.

    Read about Emma and her treatment for the brain tumor.



    Brain tumor

    • Atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor (AT/RT) is a fast-growing tumor of the brain and spinal cord. 
    • Treatment usually involves a combination of therapies. These may include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. 
    • AT/RT is a rare cancer that is hard to cure. 

    Our research on AT/RT

    Genetic defects that affect how genes are turned on and off are found in most rhabdoid tumors, such as AT/RT. St. Jude researchers studied how these defects are involved in cell identity and division. They learned more about how cells stay cancerous. The study has implications for adult tumors, as well.

  4. Patient Ivan with his father

    St. Jude patient Ivan was diagnosed with a non-cancerous but dangerous tumor in his brain. He enjoys sports, video games and cooking.


    The feeling was, this (getting a referral to St. Jude) is the pathway. It was comforting to know that this could better his life. It was just a happy moment.

    — Ivan's dad


    St. Jude patient Ivan

    Craniopharyngioma (Brain tumor)

    One day Ivan's dad heard him crying, and something sounded off. He took Ivan to emergency room, where they did a CT scan and found a golf ball-sized tumor in his brain. Ivan was diagnosed with craniopharyngioma, a non-cancerous but dangerous brain tumor. 

    Read about Ivan and his treatment at St. Jude



    Brain tumor

    • Craniopharyngioma is a rare brain tumor that usually develops near the pituitary gland and hypothalamus.  
    • These tumors are benign. But they can harm brain structures.  
    • ·Because of their location, craniopharyngiomas affect endocrine function, hormone levels and sometimes vision.  

    Our research on craniopharyngioma

    Photon therapy for craniopharyngioma sends radiation through the tumor. While this approach boosts survival rates, St. Jude scientists studied proton therapy, where particles work inside the tumor. This more direct approach can reduce impacts on other parts of the brain, without reducing efficacy. 

  5. St. Jude survivor Archie poses in front of a fire truck wearing his firefighter gear

    Archie was 11 years old when he was diagnosed with stage 3 non-Hodgkin lymphoma and treated at St. Jude. He is now 22 and cancer free.


    With the help of St. Jude and God, they healed me in six months’ time with stage 3 cancer. And they gave us a place to stay. The doctors were great. ... they explained everything to me.

    St. Jude survivor Archie


    St. Jude survivor Archie

    Archie was 11 when he was diagnosed with stage 3 non-Hodgkin lymphoma.  Now 22 and cancer free, the medical staff he met on his first day at St. Jude set him on a path in life to exactly where he is today.


    Life after childhood cancer

    • Survivors of childhood cancer face unique challenges.
    • Most childhood cancer survivors have long-term problems related to their cancer or its treatment.
    • It is important for childhood cancer survivors to know their risks, lead healthy lifestyles, and get regular medical care.

    Our research on survivorship

    St. Jude researchers study data from the largest group of cancer survivors in North America. They found that cancer survivors tend to have the same leading causes of death as the rest of the U.S. population, but usually at younger ages. Survivors who maintain healthy lifestyles and seek treatment for chronic disease live longer.

yellow patient art by Violet

Spotlight on cancer genetic research

Understanding cancer is the first step to curing it. This Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, take some time to learn about the long history of genetic research at St. Jude.


St. Jude On Cancer Genetics

Learning how genetic differences separate cancer from normal cells is key to effectively treating the disease.

St. Jude On Vulnerabilities

St. Jude scientists are on the hunt for cancer’s weak points to identify and develop innovative new therapies.

St. Jude On Predisposition and Risk

Knowing how genetics impacts cancer risk helps patients and families set expectations and make treatment plans.


How you can raise awareness and funds:
Childhood Cancer Awareness Month activities

Help us raise awareness by participating in one of our many activities and fundraising efforts to make a difference in the lives of children living with cancer.



Your generous donation makes a difference*

Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food — so they can focus on helping their child live.

Donate Now

*Items listed here are representative of services and supplies that are part of the treatment and care of children at St. Jude. The cost of each item or service is an approximation, and will vary based on actual costs incurred and individual patient needs. Your donation will be used for the general operating needs of St. Jude, where no family ever receives a bill for treatment, lodging, travel or food.




could help provide a new toy for hospital play areas at St. Jude housing facilities.




could help provide a St. Jude patient with meals for one day.




could help cover the cost of five patient platelet count tests.




could help cover one hour of physical therapy for a St. Jude patient.


Childhood Cancer Awareness Month FAQs


Gold ribbon Childhood Cancer Awareness Month artwork by St. Jude survivor Tayde.

Gold ribbon art by St. Jude survivor Tayde

  1. In 2023, National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month is in September.

  2. September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month — a time of year we and other organizations honor children and survivors affected by pediatric cancer in order to raise awareness and continue the research and treatment of the disease. Childhood cancer remains the leading cause of death by disease for children under the age of 14. 

  3. International Childhood Cancer Day is Feb. 15. This is a separate awareness day from Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

  1. The color gold and the gold ribbon are symbols of support for children affected with cancer.

  2. You can promote childhood cancer awareness by sharing this page with friends, family and colleagues, or #ShowYourGold this September by sharing a picture while wearing gold on any of your social media accounts, like Instagram.

  3. You can purchase a Childhood Cancer Awareness T-shirt along with other cool items at the St. Jude Gift Shop. Let's cure childhood cancer. Together.

  4. September is the awareness month for several kinds of cancer in addition to pediatric cancer. September has been Childhood Cancer Awareness Month since 2012. Other cancer observance months held in September include:  

    • Leukemia and Lymphoma Awareness Month
    • Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month
    • Prostate Cancer Awareness Month
    • Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month
    • Uterine Cancer Awareness Month

Meet more childhood cancer patients


  • Cervical Cancer Awareness Month


  • National Cancer Prevention Month
  • Gallbladder and Bile Duct Cancer Awareness Month


  • Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month
  • Kidney Cancer Awareness Month
  • Multiple Myeloma Awareness Month


  • Esophageal Cancer Awareness Month
  • Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Month
  • Testicular Cancer Awareness Month


  • National Cancer Research Month
  • Bladder Cancer Awareness Month
  • Brain Cancer Awareness Month
  • Melanoma and Skin Cancer Awareness Month


  • National Cancer Survivor Month


  • Sarcoma and Bone Cancer Awareness Month


  • Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
  • Leukemia and Lymphoma Awareness Month
  • Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month
  • Prostate Cancer Awareness Month
  • Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month
  • Uterine Cancer Awareness Month


  • Breast Cancer Awareness Month
  • Liver Cancer Awareness Month


  • Carcinoid Cancer Awareness Month
  • Gastric Cancer Awareness Month
  • Lung Cancer Awareness Month
  • Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month