UN believes that improved diagnostic methods may explain increased cancer figures in children

Radium Hospital in Oslo in the laboratoryRadium Hospital in Oslo in the laboratory.Photo: Lise Åserud / NTB scanpix

Statistics show that the number of cases of cancer in children has increased by 13% globally. The United Nations believes the reason may be that doctors have become better at detecting cancer. The increase applies to the period from 1980 to 2010.

Among one million children under 15, there were an average of 140 children who had cancer in the period 2000 to 2010, according to the UN-affiliated International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

That’s 15% more than in the period between 1980 and 1990. Part of the increase, when compared with the period 1980 until 1990, may be because we have become better at detecting cancer among children, or that the cancer is detected earlier, says the IARC.

Data collected for more than 300,000 cancer cases showed that leukaemia represented almost a third of cancers among children.

The second highest incidence was of tumours of the central nervous system, which represented about 20%, and lymphoma was responsible for 12% of cases.

In the report, the IARC tried not to state categorically the degree to which the increase in cancer incidence among children was due to measures taken in health care becoming more proficient at detecting cancer, or how much was due to other factors, such as infections and pollution.

 

Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today

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