SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - The number of children cured of cancer has increased significantly in the last 30 years.
Thirteen-year old Libby Kulas is about to celebrate one year of being cancer free.
She is one of the 75% of childhood cancer cases that have been cured.
"It was in my brain. I started with headaches and they became worse by November, so I had an MRI and it said that I had a tumor in my brain," said Libby.
Dr. Matthew Richardson of Baystate Children's Hospital said there are reasons why the cure rate isn't higher.
"Young childhood cancers are usually deeper seeded and grow much faster so they usually show up when they finally develop symptoms of it. Some of the obstacles are the rarity of it. It's difficult to find new cases to try clinical trials on and some of it is that some cancers are very bad even with the best known treatments," said Dr. Richardson.
Libby's mom hopes preventative measures will become more aggressive.
"I think any number less than 100% survival rate is horrible. Our kids are vaccinated for diseases constantly and I honestly think that CT scans and blood work should be done at the very beginning. Let's catch this soon, catch it before symptoms start," said Micki Bertrand, Libby's mom.
Clinical trials with families that volunteer have helped researchers discover new ways to combat these childhood cancers, but there is still more work to be done.