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Patient-Centered Guides

June 3, 2002

Childhood Cancer: Treatment Evolution
Reflected in New Editions of Parent "Bibles"

SEBASTOPOL, CA -- Childhood cancer is a success story of cancer treatments. This has led to a new generation of young adults: a generation of childhood cancer survivors.

  • The cure rate for childhood cancer has jumped from a meager 10% in 1970 to today's overall survival rate of almost 70%

  • In terms of life years saved, childhood cancer is second only to breast cancer

  • For cancers with high survival rates, researchers are now working to refine treatments so they are less risky and have fewer long-term effects

  • As with adult cancers, new biological therapies hold the promise of killing cancer cells without damaging healthy cells

Despite this "good news," a diagnosis of childhood cancer is devastating for the family. Childhood cancer is treated aggressively, often with a combination of chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery, at a time of life when bodies are growing and developing. Additionally, parents of children with cancer are often young, have a limited income, and they may have other children.

Treatment for childhood cancer can last from one year to several years depending on diagnosis. The long-term emotional and economic impact on the family is huge.

Treatments, research, and parent resources have evolved rapidly. Two books widely used by parents have been updated to reflect these changes and to meet the many needs of families. Childhood Leukemia: A Guide for Families, Friends & Caregivers is now in a 3rd edition; Childhood Cancer: A Parent's Guide to Solid Tumor Cancers will be out in a 2nd edition at the end of July.

Nancy Keene's in-depth interview describes the state of treatments, research, and advocacy for childhood cancer today.

About the authors

Nancy Keene is one of the original developers of the Patient-Centered Guides series. Her 14-year-old daughter is a ten-year survivor of high-risk ALL. Nancy has written or co-written Childhood Leukemia, Childhood Cancer, Childhood Cancer Survivors, Working with Your Doctor and Your Child in the Hospital (also available in Spanish). She edited the recently-released Childhood Brain and Spinal Cord Tumors.

Nancy is a well known writer, speaker, and advocate for patients and children. She was the first chair of the Children's Cancer Group Patient Advocacy committee, and then the first chair of the Children's Oncology Group (consortium of 238 institutions who care for children with cancer) Patient Advocacy committee. She is one of the original members of the online support groups sponsored by the Association of Online Cancer Resources (, where she refers parents of children with cancer to resources and provides emotional support.

Honna Janes-Hodder's youngest son Matthew was diagnosed with neuroblastoma on his third birthday, and passed away at age seven on September 3, 1997. Honna is founder of ChildCan, The Childhood Cancer Research Association of Newfoundland and Labrador, Inc., and past president of the International Pediatric Cancer Alliance, Inc. Honna was one of the first five people appointed as patient advocates to the Children's Cancer Group (CCG). Honna has managed many of the pediatric discussion groups for ACOR, the Association of Cancer Online Resources, Inc., and has provided support and reliable information to families dealing with childhood cancers. Honna has also served in the Newfoundland and Labrador division of the Canadian Cancer Society and written a regular health section for a national newspaper in Canada. Honna is now attending the Memorial University of Newfoundland, working toward a PhD in biochemistry.

About the books

Childhood Leukemia, 3rd Edition
By Nancy Keene
$29.95, 528 pages, ISBN: 0-596-50015-7

Childhood Cancer, 2nd Edition
By Honna Janes-Hodder & Nancy Keene
$29.95, 528 pages (est.), ISBN: 0-596-50014-9

A complementary review copy is available for the media.

About Patient-Centered Guides

We publish books that contain clear, concise, easy to understand information about the medical, practical and emotional aspects of health issues. Our authors are patient advocates, knowledgeable about specific conditions and diseases, who have built strong and networked communities of patients, families, and caregivers. In addition to books, we publish in-depth patient information on the web at

Patient-Centered Guides is a wholly-owned subsidiary of O'Reilly & Associates, Inc. O'Reilly is recognized worldwide for its technical books that provide value to people who are experiencing information pain. O'Reilly publishes books that make a difference in people's lives.

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