CANCERS AMONG CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS AT A CANCER HOSPITAL IN PAKISTAN

Farhana Badar, Shahid Mahmood

Abstract


Background: The Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre (SKMCH & RC), is a tertiary care cancer centre, providing the best facilities in cancer diagnosis and treatment in the region. A record of the registered patients is being maintained in the hospital-based registry and the results are posted on its official website on a regular basis. Methods: This is an epidemiologic review of cancer patients 0–19 years of age, reporting cancers recorded at SKMCH & RC) Lahore, Pakistan, from January 1, 2011-December 31, 2012, in patients aged less than or equal to 19-years, belonging to Lahore district. It includes: i) those who had come to the Hospital laboratory for diagnosis only; ii) those who were diagnosed and registered for treatment at the Hospital; and iii) those who were not accepted for registration (regardless of the centre of diagnosis), as per Hospital policy, and subsequently went to other centres for treatment. The results were summarized by sex, 5-year age-group (0–4, 5–9, 10–14, and 15–19), and the International Classification of Childhood Cancers’ (ICCC) diagnostic group. The annual Age-Standardized Incidence Rates (ASIR) were computed through the Segi World Standard (1960), per 100,000 population. Results: New cancer cases: 669. ASIRs for common malignancies: among males-leukaemia and myelo-proliferative/dysplastic disorders 2.1, lymphoma and reticuloendothelial neoplasms 1.8, CNS and miscellaneous intracranial/intraspinal tumours 1.1; among females-leukaemia and myelo-proliferative/dysplastic disorders 1.9, CNS and miscellaneous intracranial/intraspinal 0.8, and malignant bone tumours 0.6. Conclusion: The rates are low compared to the rates reported in the West. However, it has been estimated that over 80% of the paediatric cancer cases, diagnosed among Lahore residents, are being recorded by this institution alone. Accordingly, reviewing the statistics on a regular basis can be very important in evaluating trends in childhood cancers in Lahore and implementing cancer control programs in the region.

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