A pathology frequency study of childhood solid cancer in Sokoto

  • SA Malami UDUTH, PMB 2370 Sokoto 840001, Nigeria
  • AM Dauda
  • UH Pindiga
  • BA Abimiku
  • DA Abubakar


Background and objective: Childhood cancer, a rising problem in Nigeria, has received little or no attention in the past. We describe the pattern and distribution of cancer in children in Sokoto, Northwestern Nigeria, to increase awareness on the diseases and highlight their prevalence.

Design: A retrospective, descriptive study of the pattern of solid cancers diagnosed in children under 15 years at UDUTH Hospital from 1999 – 2004.

Methodology: All cases of paediatric cancers diagnosed in the period reviewed using the signed-out histology and cytology reports, microscopic slides and paraffin blocks of patients' biopsies that had been stored serially on a yearly basis. Demographic information was collected on each patient included in the study. The results were tabulated and analyzed and are presented in form of simple frequency table and bar chart. Results: 158 cases of pathologically diagnosed childhood cancers were analyzed. The peak age was in the 5-9 years age group with a slight male preponderance. The highest frequencies were observed for Burkitt's lymphoma and retinoblastoma. Tumours of brain and bone were rare.

Conclusion: The pattern of paediatric cancer is comparable with that previously reported in other regions of Nigeria and confirms the general impression that these malignancies are under diagnosed in our own environment. This study further highlights the need for the provision of modern facilities for early childhood cancer detection, diagnosis, registration and therapy in all regions of the country.

Sahel Medical Journal Vol. 8(4) 2005: 106-109

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eISSN: 1118-8561