Journal of Community Medicine and Primary Health Care

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Assessment of the pattern of childhood malignant diseases seen at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (2004-2008), Benin City, Nigeria

ME Odunvbun, GA Akenzua


Background: Malignant diseases have been reported in children worldwide. Pattern of these diseases vary from continent to continent and even in the same country from region to region. Pattern of malignant diseases have been described from various parts of Nigeria, but none from Benin.

Aim: To assess the pattern of malignant diseases seen in the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin-City, Edo State

Methods: In a bid to accurately document Cancers at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, a cancer registry was established in the unit as all cases are usually managed in the unit. All cases of childhood admissions for malignant diseases were documented in the cancer registry. This data was recalled and a reviewed of malignant diseases seen between January 2004 and December 2008 (5years) was done. Frequencies were expressed as means and percentages, and chi square was used to compare proportions.

Results: A total of 174 children presented with malignant disorders during this period. Burkitt's lymphoma was the commonest cause of malignancy accounting for 23.6% of all cases. This was followed by retinoblastoma (17.8%), Non Hodgkin's lymphoma (12.64%), Nephroblastoma (10.3%), Leukemia (9.2%), Rhabdomyosarcoma (6.9%), Neuroblastoma (6.9), Hodgkin lymphoma (2.3%) and others (10.3%). Malignant disorders were commoner in children 1- 5years largely due to retinoblastoma, although Burkitt's lymphoma was the overall most common cause of cancer occurring more commonly in children aged 5-10 years

Conclusion: A higher prevalence of lymphoma in this study typifies what is seen in developing countries unlike the developed countries where leukemias predominate. As has been postulated, environmental and genetic predisposition may be important in the pathogenesis of cancers.

Keywords: Childhood, Malignancies, Pattern

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