Pediatric malignancies in Kano, Northern Nigeria

Department of Pathology, Bayero University/Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano, Nigeria.
World Journal of Pediatrics (Impact Factor: 1.05). 08/2012; 8(3):235-9. DOI: 10.1007/s12519-012-0363-3
Source: PubMed


With effective immunization control of several devastating childhood infections in the developing world, non-infectious diseases such as malignancies have become increasingly important causes of pediatric morbidity and mortality. Therefore this 10-year retrospective study was undertaken to evaluate and document the pattern of childhood cancers in our locality.
We reviewed 438 childhood (≤15 years) malignancies diagnosed at the histopathology and hematology laboratories of our teaching hospital in a 10-year period (2001-2010).
The 438 malignancies comprised 10.9% of all cancers. The maligancies frequently seen in early childhood (0-4 years) accounted for 46.1% and in late childhood (5-9 years) for 34.7%. Retinoblastoma (30.6%), Burkitt lymphoma (19.9%) and acute leukemia (16.9%) were the most common pediatric cancers. Unlike in most other parts of the world, acute myeloid leukemia was slightly more prevalent than acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Although there were notable differences, our findings were in broad agreement with those of most other sub-Saharan African series, but differed markedly from those in the Western world and other high income countries. Further studies are required to identify the environmental factors for the high prevalence of nonfamilial retinoblastoma and possibly acute myeloid leukemia.

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