Childhood Cancer statistics paint an alarming picture. Studies reveal that childhood and adolescent cancer is threatening to overtake infectious diseases as one of the highest causes of disease-related mortality in children. In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) reported that the worldwide incidence of childhood cancer globally increased from 165 000 new cases annually to 215 000 cases for children 14 years and younger and 85 000 new cases for 15 to 19-year-olds.According to the Tumour Registry (SACTR), every year 1 000 children are diagnosed with cancer in South Africa. Sadly, these numbers are not reflective of how many children live with cancer. It is estimated that half of the children with cancer in South Africa are never diagnosed.Children are failed daily due to misdiagnosis or late diagnosis. By the time children are diagnosed it is too late, and many die from this treatable disease. South Africa has among the lowest survival rates of childhood cancer, according to the Childhood Cancer Foundation of South Africa (CHOC). In South Africa it’s 50%, compared with 80% in developed countries, such as the UK.The stats make it clear, there is no doubt there is a relationship between poverty and health; it is the poorest children who run the greatest risk of dying of childhood cancer owing to not accessing quality healthcare.Coffee-themed franchise restaurant chain Mugg & Bean is calling on every South African to support its Muffins for Kids with Cancer initiative. From 3 September to 3 October, the company is donating R5 from each giant muffin purchased by customers to Cupcakes of Hope, a non-profit organisation that aims to raise awareness and funds for families in need of medical assistance.“It is not enough that we raise funds to help the children who have already been diagnosed,” says Mugg & Bean brand manager Thulani Mahlangu, “but we need to look at the issue holistically, to ensure childhood cancer is detected early so that children can receive the necessary treatment. The company calls on all parents and guardians to be vigilant and look out for the signs of cancer in children, especially the five most prevalent types – leukaemia, brain tumours, neuroblastoma, Wilms tumour (affecting the kidneys) and lymphoma. Using the SILUAN method, developed by CHOC, parents can identify the early onset of cancer. It is an acronym for identifying the signs. Parents must look out for the following and seek medical help immediately:. S – Seek medical attention early for persistent symptoms.. I – the phonetic reminder for “Eye-related symptoms, including a white spot in the eye, the development of a squint or visual impairment, or bulging of the eyeball.. L – Lump noticeable in the abdomen, pelvis, head, neck, limbs, testes or glands.. U – Unexplained symptoms of prolonged fever for more than two weeks, weight loss, pallour, fatigue, easy bruising or bleeding.. A – Aching bones, joints, back or bones unusually susceptible to breaking.. N – Neurological signs, such as change or deterioration in walk, balance or speech, regression of developmental milestones, headache lasting more than a week and sometimes with vomiting, or enlargement of the head.Thanks to founder Sandy Cipriano’s need to make a difference, the non-profit Cupcakes of Hope was created in 2012 to help young warriors fight cancer.“Oprah’s Angel Network showed me that we can all make a difference in someone’s life,” she says. “You don’t need money to make a difference, all you need is a bit of time and loads of love.” Cupcakes of Hope assists, on average, 60 cancer warriors each month by paying towards their medical treatments or the other day-to-day expenses like food, clothing and transport for hospital visits. All the warriors go through a stringent registration process which includes the submission of the doctor’s letter specifying their diagnosis before receiving assistance.“South Africans can contribute to help reduce the Childhood Cancer stats,” Cipriano says. “We would like to encourage everyone to support the initiative by buying muffins at Mugg & Bean over the month of September to help children with cancer. This small but incredibly kind act will go a long way to ensure that many children get to see their 18th birthday.” Mugg & Bean customers can also donate to the initiative on the Mugg & Bean Generosity App, which can be downloaded from the Apple App Store and Google Play store.