Childhood cancer annually claims about 100 lives

03/01/2007 14:00

In the period 1996-2005, childhood cancer claimed 1,064 lives in the 0-15 age bracket, an average of 106 children every year or two children a week. Childhood cancer is the principal cause of death for children aged between 2 and 12.

Childhood cancer mortality
Childhood cancer mortality

Cancer principal cause of death in children

In the period 1996–2005, mortality among children in the 0-15 age bracket totalled 15.2 thousand. Nearly 66 percent of them died before their first birthday. Frequent causes of death for children under the age of 1 are perinatal problems and congenital defects.
On average, cancer was the principal cause of death for 19 percent of children who died in the age category 1-15. Cancer is the main cause of death for children aged between 2 and 12. Among 13 to 15-year-olds, traffic accidents are the principal cause of death. The risk of dying from cancer is more or less evenly spread across the various age groups.
There is no clearly upward or downward trend in the annual number of deaths. In the period 1996–2005, more boys than girls died from cancer. The gender ratio of cancer mortality for children is the same as for overall mortality.

Mortality by age, 1996-2005
Mortality by age, 1996-2005

Mainly brain tumours and leukaemia

Brain tumours and blood cancer (primarily leukaemia) together account for more than 60 percent of all childhood cancer mortality. For all age categories, brain tumours and blood cancer are the most frequent types of lethal cancer. Other lethal tumours in children are located in the endocrine glands (9 percent), the connective tissue (6 percent) and the bones (5 percent). (Non-)Hodgkin’s disease or lymphoma and cancer of the urogenital system, like the bladder and the male and female reproductive organs, are also types of lethal cancers.
According to the Koningin Wilhemina Fonds (a Dutch organisation involved in the fight against cancer) 400 children are annually diagnosed for cancer.

Location childhood cancer, 1996-2005
Location childhood cancer, 1996-2005

Kim de Bruin