Epidemiology of childhood cancer and the SACCSG tumour registry
The original publication is available at http://www.cmej.org.za/index.php/cmej
Childhood cancer is relatively rare, comprising less than 1% of cases of malignant disease. Cancer is the second most common cause of death in children in Western countries, while in Africa it is not even ranked among the 10 most common causes of death. Infections, nutritional disease, HIV and tuberculosis remain the most important paediatric health problems in developing countries. In developed countries, more than 80% of children with malignancies can be cured, but unfortunately most children with cancer live in developing countries, where the cure rate is much lower. In 2009 South Africa’s population was approximately 49 million, of whom 15 500 000 were in the age group 0 - 14 years. This translates to over 31% of the population, while in the USA and Western Europe the corresponding figures are 20%4 and 17%,5 respectively.