Paediatric head and neck cancers in Nigeria: Implications for treatment planning in resource limited settings
AbstractBackground: The head and neck (H/N) is a common site for childhood cancers. This study examined all cases of H/N childhood cancers diagnosed in a major teaching hospital in Nigeria over 18 years to determine patterns of broad lineage cancer groups. Materials and Methods: Primary pediatric childhood malignancies diagnosed between 1990 and 2008 were analysed. Logistic regression models were fitted to determine significant clinical correlates of childhood cancer. Results: Lymphomas were the commonest cancers (49.5%). After controlling for site and age, there was no significant difference in the incidence of Burkitt’s lymphoma (BL) by sex (P=0.423). The jaw bones (mandible and maxilla) were the commonest sites in the H/N for involvement of BL, with over 20 times the odds of occurrence when compared to other non‑jaw sites of the H/N region (Adjusted Odds Ratio [AOR]=21.41, P < 0.001). Among the jaw bones, there was no significant difference in the occurrence of BL (P=0.860). Conclusion: Lymphomas are the commonest cancer group among children in Nigeria. In resource limited settings where diagnoses depend majorly on clinical intuition, an awareness of predictors of a disease can shorten the time spent on arriving at a working diagnosis and guide the immediate choice of investigations and treatment.
Keywords: Cancer, children, lymphoma, Nigeria
Nigerian Medical Journal | Vol. 53 | Issue 4 | October-December | 2012