CHILD cancer deaths in the Northwest have seen an 'unprecedented' fall over the last 40 years, according to new figures from a charity funding research into the disease.

Cancer Research UK says progress in treating the disease has seen a 58% drop among youngsters aged 24 and under, with around 1,300 deaths each year in the mid-1970s falling to around 550.

The figures were announced as the charity launches Cancer Research UK Kids and Teens - a new fundraising campaign to accelerate research into "kinder treatments" and cures for children, teens and young adults with cancer.

Alison Barbuti, the charity's local fundraising boss, said: "Cancer has a devastating impact on youngsters.

"Children and young people can face months of painful treatment, as well as the upset of being away from home and friends.

"Also, some unfortunately face living with long-term side effects from their treatment, such as infertility and disability, which have an impact throughout their adult lives.

"Sadly, not every youngster survives but we continue to fight for every child and every family and hope to double the amount we spend on children's and young people's cancers in the next five to ten years.

"By boosting funding now, the best research teams could offer new hope by developing kinder and better treatments and cures, so we’re urging people across the region to back Cancer Research UK Kids & Teens."

Samantha Cameron, wife of the Prime Minister,  is helping raise awareness of the cause and held a special reception at 10 Downing Street earlier this week to recognise the bravery of 20 youngsters from across the UK who have been diagnosed with cancer.

To support Cancer Research UK Kids & Teens text KIDS3 to 70200 to donate £37 or for more information about the campaign visit