Pattern of Childhood Malignancies in Jos, North Central Nigeria

  • ES Okpe
  • II Abok
  • IE Ocheke
  • SN Okolo
Keywords: Pattern, Childhood malignancies, Chemotherapy, Nigeria

Abstract

Background: Malignancies constitute an important cause of childhood morbidity and mortality in Nigeria. This study describes the current trend in the spectrum of childhood malignancies in Jos , North Central Nigeria. Methodology: A four-year prospective study of childhood malignancies seen at the Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH), Jos was conducted between November 2006 and October 2010. Data collected included patients biodata, type of malignancy, treatment modality and outcome. Results: Ninety two (92) cases of childhood malignancies were seen during the 4year period, accounting for 2.7% of all admissions into the paediatric wards, giving an average of 23 cases per year. Out of this, 54 were males; 38 were females. The most common childhood malignancy was Burkitt's Lymphoma accounting for 48.9%, followed by acute leukemias (13.8%), non-Hodgkin lymphoma (12.8%) and Rhabdomyosarcoma (10.6%). The peak age group of children with cancers was 5-9 years (range 2-17 years). The cancer cure rate was as low as 34% while losses to follow up was 30%, and 26% of the patients died in the course of therapy from advanced disease or complications of therapy. Conclusion: Childhood cancers are not uncommon in our environment. Burkitt's lymphoma was the single most common childhood cancer. Cancer cure rate in our centre is still very low. Mobilization of human and material resources towards childhood cancer management and control is advocated.

Key Words Pattern, Childhood malignancies, Chemotherapy, Nigeria.

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eISSN: 2276-7096