A prospective study of childhood malignancy in Enugu, Eastern Nigeria (2011-2013)

  • BF Chukwu
  • OU Ezenwosu
  • AN Ikefuna
  • IJ Emodi
Keywords: childhood, malignancy, lymphomas, leukaemia

Abstract

Background: The review of childhood cancers has most times been done in retrospect by most authors and this has its inherent limitations. Most reviews in Africa show that lymphomas are the commonest malignancies of childhood while acute leukemia ranks much lower.
Objective: To do a prospective audit of the pattern of childhood malignancies in Enugu, southeast, Nigeria.
Methods: Demographic and medical information on patients aged 1 -17 years admitted over a 36 month period for malignancies was obtained and recorded in pretested interviewed administered questionnaire. Data was analyzed using spss, 15 (Chicago II, USA) software.
Results: A total of 103 patients were admitted with diagnosis of cancer with a male: female ratio of 1.3: 1 and median age of 7 years. Majority (63.1%) of patients were from the rural area with low socioeconomic background. There was a decline in the incidence of childhood lymphoma from 40% about 25 years ago to 34% in the present study. Although lymphoma remains the leading childhood malignancy, sarcomas and acute leukemia rather than renal and eye tumors ranked second and third respectively among childhood cancers in the center.
Conclusion: There is a reversing trend in the pattern of malignancies of childhood in Enugu as acute leukemia becomes one of the leading malignancies of children.

Key words: childhood, malignancy, lymphomas, leukaemia

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