Of the 6.10 lakh cancers reported under the National Cancer Registry Program (NCRP) between 2012-2019, at least 7.9 percent were found in children under the age of 14, according to a report, “Clinicopathological Profile of Cancers in India: A Report of Hospital Based Cancer Registries, 2021” prepared by the Indian Council of Medical Research.
Leukemia was responsible for nearly half of all childhood cancers in both sexes in the 0-14 age group (46.4 percent in boys and 44.3 percent in girls). The other common childhood cancer in boys was lymphoma (16.4 percent), while in girls it was a malignant bone tumor (8.9 percent), the report said.
It consolidates data collected during the period in 96 hospital-based cancer registries under the National Cancer Registry Program (NCRP). The data covers all diagnosed and treated cases of confirmed malignancies reported to these centers across the country.
The country recorded 13,32,207 cancer cases in 2012-19. Of these, 6,10,084 were included for analysis, based on the completeness and quality of the data. Childhood cancer ranks ninth as the leading cause of childhood illness globally, accounting for 11.5 million of Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs).
In India, according to a recent NCRP report, the proportion of childhood cancers (0-19 years) relative to cancer across all age groups was found to range from 1 percent to 4.9 percent. Delhi reported the highest age-adjusted incidence (AAR) of 203.1 per million boys and 125.4 per million.
Aside from childhood cancers, the ICMR report says cancers in sites linked to tobacco use accounted for 48.7 percent of cancers in men and 16.5 percent in women.
Of all cancers, the highest rate of distant metastasis at presentation was seen in patients with lung cancer (49.2 percent men and 55.5 percent women), followed by gallbladder cancer (40.9 percent men and 45.7 percent women) and prostate cancer. cancer (42.9 percent). The data came in in September, which is recognized worldwide as childhood cancer awareness month.
dr. Nita Radhakrishnan, associate professor and head of the Department of Pediatric Hematology Oncology at the Post Graduate Institute of Child Health, Noida, said that while there have been several government schemes for cancer treatment, there are many who still cannot take advantage of these. . “They do not have the necessary documents or are not aware of these arrangements. Many stop treatment simply because there is no one at home to support the family,” she added.