Launch of early diagnosis project to increase awareness of the symptoms of childhood cancer


The team at the Grace Kelly Ladybird Trust is delighted to be a charity partner at the launch of an early diagnosis initiative called ChildCancerSmart.

It is a collaborative project with other major childhood cancer organisations aimed at reducing the time it takes to diagnose cancer in children, teenagers and young adults.

Childhood cancer is the most common cause of death by disease for children in the UK, and many children still experience long delays to diagnosis. This can mean that the cancer grows or spreads further before the child is referred for tests. This can result in the child’s cancer being diagnosed at later  when treatment options are more limited and may be less effective. Children diagnosed late often face more intense treatment and long term health issues.

ChildCancerSmart aims to prevent these delays by developing evidence-based accredited guidelines for GPs and other primary healthcare professionals to help them make quick decisions about cancer referrals. The project will produce a national awareness campaign, resources and look into why delayed diagnosis happens and how it can be addressed.

Ten years ago, a similar initiative called HeadSmart was launched for brain tumours. It has been instrumental in halving diagnosis times for children with brain tumours in the UK. The ChildCancerSmart project hopes to replicate this success for all other cancers affecting children and young people so that no child or cancer type is forgotten. The project aims to be completed by 2020.    

The Grace Kelly Ladybird Trust is pleased to be involved in such an initiative and that our name suggestion of ChildCancerSmart has been adopted.

As our supporters know, a large part of the GKLT’s work is to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of childhood cancer. Importantly, this work will continue, but the project will build on what has already been achieved by researching the problem further, developing resources and producing national guidance.

For more information on ChildCancerSmart, please see here.



ChildCancerSmart is led by Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group (CCLG), and the Children’s Brain Tumour Research Centre (CBTRC) at the University of Nottingham. The charity partners in the partnership are the Grace Kelly Ladybird Trust, CLIC Sargent and Teenagers and Young Adults with Cancer (TYAC).