01. tbl. 96. árg. 2010


Childhood cancer in Iceland 1981-2006

Krabbamein hjá börnum á Íslandi árin 1981-2006

Background: Childhood cancer is the second most common cause of death in children. The aim of this study was to gather epidemiological information on childhood cancer in Iceland. 

Methods: The study was population based and included all children younger than 18 years of age, diagnosed with cancer in Iceland from 1981 to 2006. Information was extracted from the Icelandic Cancer Registry and patient hospital records.

Results: During the study period 288 cancer cases were diagnosed in 279 children, 10 cases were secondary neoplasms. Age standardized incidence was 16.1 per 100.000 (95% CI 13,6-18,6) for boys and 12.8 per 100.000 (95% CI 10,5-15,0) for girls. There was no significant difference in the incidence rate between the first and second half of the study period. For children aged 0-14 years, the age standardized incidence was 13.6 per 100.000. The incidence was highest in the 0-4 year age group (17.3 per 100.000) and in the 15-17 year age group (19.6 per 100.000). Brain tumors (27.1%) and leukemia (25.0%) were the most common cancer groups diagnosed. Lymphoid leukemia was the most common cancer type (17.9%) and astrocytoma (13.1%) came second.

Conclusions: The incidence of childhood cancer in Iceland is similar to other Western countries. Long-term follow-up is very important in childhood cancer survivors.

Figure 1. Age-adjusted incidence rate of childhood malignancies per 100.000 individuals < 18 years of age during the period 1981-2006. Blue indicates boys and red girls.

Figure 2. Proportional distribution of the main ICCC-3 groups during the research period.

Figure 3.  Age-adjusted incidence rate of childhood malignancies per 100.000 individuals < 18 years of the main ICCC-3 groups. Blue indicates boys, red indicates girls and green indicates both sexes combined.

Figure 4. Age-adjusted incidence rate of childhood malignancies per 100.000 of the following age groups: 0-4 years, 5-9 years, 10-14 years and 15-17 years. 

Correspondence: Ásgeir Haraldsson

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