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Paediatric solid tumours in Nigerian children: A changing pattern?

NM Tanko
GO Echejoh
NA Manasseh
MB Mandong
AF Uba


Background: Childhood cancer is fast becoming an important paediatric problem in Nigeria and several parts of Africa, with the progressive decline of infectious and nutritional diseases. The following study was a 5-year retrospective review of paediatric solid tumours as seen at the Jos University Teaching Hospital, Nigeria. Objective: To determine the relative frequencies of childhood solid malignant tumours in Jos, Central Nigeria and compare
with reports of previous studies both locally and abroad. Materials and Methods: Cancer registers and medical records of patients were used to extract demographic data, specimen number and/or codes. Archival materials were retrieved from the histopathology laboratory and sections were made from paraffi n embedded blocks of these specimens. Slides of these histological sections were reviewed and reclassifi ed where necessary. The
relative frequencies were then determined. Results: One hundred and eighty one solid tumours of children were diagnosed within the study period. Ninety-four
(51%) were benign and 87 (49%) malignant. Male: Female ratio was 1.3:1. The commonest malignant tumour diagnosed was rhabdomyosarcoma which accounted for 27 (31%), comprising of 15 (55.6%), 11 (40.7%) and 1 (3.7%) embryonal, alveolar and
pleomorphic rhabdomyosarcomas, respectively. Non Hodgkin lymphoma and Burkitt lymphoma accounted for 17 (19.5%) and 12 (13.8%), respectively. Conclusion:
Based on the result of our study, we conclude that the commonest solid malignancy of childhood in Jos, Nigeria is rhabdomyosarcoma. This has implications for diagnosis, management and prognosis of theses soft tissue sarcomas in our paediatric population.

Keywords: Frequencies, Nigeria, paediatric solid

African Journal of Paediatric Surgery Vol. 6 (1) 2009: pp. 7-10