Incidence of Childhood Cancer | CHOC South Africa

Incidence of Childhood Cancer

Incidence of Childhood Cancer | CHOC South Africa

Globally, childhood and adolescent cancer is threatening to overtake infectious diseases, as one of the highest causes of disease-related mortality in children. Despite being relatively rare, in high-income countries, childhood cancer is the second most common cause of death in children aged 5 to 14 years, after accidents, whilst in Africa, it does not make it into the top 10 common causes of death.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) 2015, reported that the worldwide numbers of childhood cancer globally are increasing, from 165,000 new cases annually to 215,000 cases for children 14 years and younger, and 85,000 new cases for 15-19 year-olds. It is unknown whether this is a true increase in incidence or whether more cases are being diagnosed and reported. Many more remain uncounted and unreported due to a lack of childhood cancer registries in a large number of countries, as well as a lack of diagnostic facilities.

Internationally, 150 per million children are diagnosed with cancer annually. This equates to 1 in 500 to 1 in 600 children being diagnosed per year.

In South Africa, the South African Children’s Tumour Registry (SACTR) reports about 1000 new cases a year for children under the age of 16. This is an increase from 10 years ago. Survival rates in high-income countries reach an average of 85% and are steadily improving even in less-resourced areas of the world where there are integrated programmes. The survival rate of cancer in children in South Africa is around 55% and seems to be on the rise.

It is estimated that two thirds of children with cancer never reach a treatment centre, and of those that do, most are in late stages of the disease.

The CHOC Awareness and Education programme aims to train healthcare professionals, healthcare workers, traditional practitioners, and community advocates to identify the early warning signs of childhood cancer and to follow the correct referral pathways for childhood cancer.

Since 2011, 25 358 individuals have been trained during 567 sessions. Early detection plays a significant role in increasing survival rates. Help us Support

Children with Cancer

CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation is the only organisation that provides comprehensive countrywide support for children with cancer and other life-threatening blood disorders, and their families.

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