Cancer Trends - Childhood cancer

Publication date: 
July, 2014
Related staff: 
Dr Sandra Deady (former staff)
Dr Paul Walsh (former staff)
PDF icon childhood_trendsreport_July2014.pdf1.02 MB

This report summarises incidence, treatment, survival and mortality for cancers among Irish children (age 0-14 years). On average, 128 cancers were diagnosed per year during 1994-2011, most frequently leukaemias (40), brain and central nervous system tumours (33) or lymphomas (13 per year). Time-trends in incidence were not clear-cut but there was a slow but non-significant increase for childhood cancers as a whole. Treatment varied substantially by cancer type, but chemotherapy was the most frequently modality overall. 5-year survival averaged about 80% throughout 1994-2011, and exceeded 80% for 8 of the 12 major diagnostic groups. Time-trends in survival were generally unclear, but lymphoid leukaemias and lymphomas showed significant improvements since the 1990s. More substantial improvements in survival are evident from longer-term mortality trends, with recent mortality rates about 60-70% lower than in the 1950s and 1960s. Overall incidence rates and survival for childhood cancer in Ireland are close to the European average in recent years, and mortality rates are among the lowest in Europe.

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