The occurrence of cancer during childhood is very rare, representing approximately 1 percent of all new cancer diagnoses in the US.1 Although uncommon, cancer is the second leading cause of death among children aged one to 14 years, exceeded only by accidents.2 On average, from 2013 to 2017, 375 cases of cancer and 57 cancer deaths occurred each year among Indiana children aged zero to 19 years. In general, childhood cancer trends in Indiana are similar to what is seen nationwide. For most cases of childhood cancer, the cause is unknown.3

The most recent comparable U.S. and Indiana childhood cancer incidence rates show the incidence rate of cancer among Indiana children aged zero to 19 years from 2013 to 2017 was 21.2 cases per 100,000 children, which was similar to the national rate of 18.0 cases per 100,000 children for 2014-2018.3,4 Similarly, in Indiana, the childhood cancer mortality rate was 3.2 deaths per 100,000 children, compared to the US mortality rate of 2.2 deaths per 100,000 children.3,4

Using the International Classification of Childhood Cancer system, the most common cancer types diagnosed among Indiana children aged zero to 14 years were leukemias and brain tumors. In children aged 15 to 19 years, the most common cancer types were epithelial cancers (cancers that develop from the cellular covering of internal and external body surfaces or related tissues in the skin, hollow viscera and other organs), brain cancers, and Lymphomas.4 While cancers occurring in adults are classified by the anatomical site of the primary tumor, cancers in children and younger adolescents are classified by histology (tissue type) into 12 major groups using the International Classification of Childhood Cancers.


  • Childhood Cancer Fact Sheet — Use this fact sheet to educate your partners and communities. The fact sheet provides information and statistics on childhood cancer in Indiana.
  • Sample Press Release for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month (September) — This press release is designed to be customized and sent to local media outlets.
  • Indiana Facts and Figures 6th Edition — Provides current statistics and information on childhood cancer in Indiana in convenient PDF form. This can be linked to documents, websites, presentations, or through social media.
  • Indiana Cancer Control Plan 2021– 2022 — Provides a roadmap for cancer control in Indiana. The ICCP includes six focus areas: primary prevention, early detection, treatment, quality of life, data, and advocacy. This can be linked to documents, websites, presentations, or through social media.



  1. Ward, E., DeSantis, C., Robbins, A., Kohler, B., Jemal, A. (2014). Childhood and adolescent cancer statistics, 2014. CA Cancer J Clin., 64:83-103.
  2. American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures 2021. Atlanta, GA: American Cancer Society; 2021.
  3. Indiana State Cancer Registry, 2021.
  4. McLaughlin, CC.(2008). Childhood cancer. In Fundamentals of Cancer Epidemiology, 2nd ed, Nasca, PC, and Pastides, H. editors. Jones and Bartlet Publishers, Sudbury, MA.