Sunday, September 8, 2013

Years of Life

The effect of cancer and its treatments is often measured in Person-Years of Life Lost (PYLL).  The average age of diagnosis for prostate cancer is 68.  Since the average life span is 72 years, that is a PYLL of 4 (4 years lost of an average lifespan.)  The PYLL for breast cancer is about 11 (average age at diagnosis is 61).  The average age for diagnosis of childhood cancer is 6.  That means the PYLL for childhood cancers is 66.  66 years lost.  More from kids, like Scarlett, who are diagnosed as infants (and have higher mortality rates, thanks to treatments that are nearly as life-threatening as the cancer itself.)

The Make-a-Wish Foundation offers children with life-threatening illnesses, including cancer, a chance to be a kid again.  Each metropolitan area has its own MAW chapter, each with it's own Charity Navigator score.  Here's our local MAW of the Greater Bay Area chapter and score.

  • 81% of parents observe an increased willingness by their wish kids to comply with treatment protocols.
  • A combined 89% of nurses, doctors, social workers and child life specialists surveyed say they believe that the wish experience can influence wish kids’ physical health.
  • 98% of parents feel the wish experience gives them the opportunity to be a “normal” family again
  • 92% of volunteers feel an increased desire to give back and help someone else’s family

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