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Overview

Common Childhood
Cancers

Childhood Cancer in Québec - Facts & Figures

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Leukaemia
  • Leukaemia is a disease of the blood cells and represents 25% of all childhood cancers in Canada.
  • The predominant type occurring in children is acute lymphoblastic leukaemia that affects the lymphocyte producing cells in the bone marrow.

Central nervous system tumours

  • These tumours occur in the brain and spinal cord and are the second most common form of childhood cancer in Canada.
  • They are much less diagnosed in many developing countries, partly due to lack of advanced diagnostic techniques.
  • In Canada, brain and spinal cord tumours represent 17% of all childhood cancers

Lymphomas

  • Lymphomas are tumours of the lymphatic tissues and are the third most common cancer of children in Canada.
  • Hodgkin’s lymphoma is slightly more common than Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in Canada.
  • In Canada, lymphomas represent 16% of all childhood cancers.

Soft tissue carcinoma

  • Soft tissue carcinoma includes rhabdomyosarcoma and fibrosarcoma.
  • Rhabdomysarcoma is a cancer arising in cells that normally develop into skeletal muscles of the body. It is a typical soft tissue sarcoma of childhood that occurs more often in boys than in girls.
  • Soft tissue carcinoma accounts for 6% of all childhood cancers in Canada.

Neuroblastoma

  • Neuroblastoma is a malignant disease of the sympathetic nervous tissue, originating in adrenal medulla or other sites.
  • This form of cancer typically occurs in children younger than 5 years of age with more than ¼ of the cases showing up in the first year of life.
  • This type of cancer represents almost 5% of all childhood cancers in Canada.

Bone tumours

  • Bone tumours arise in various types of cells of bone tissue and include osteosarcoma, Ewing’s sarcoma and others.
  • Bone tumours represent about 5% of all childhood cancers in Canada.

Renal cancer

  • The most common renal cancer in childhood is Wilms’ tumour, occurring mostly in children under five years of age.
  • Wilms’ tumour accounts for 4% of all childhood cancers in Canada.

Retinoblastoma

  • Retinoblastoma is cancer of the retina, the nervous tissue of the eye.
  • About half of all cases are inherited.
  • Its incidence peaks in the first year of life, and most cases are diagnosed before the age of 5.
  • In Canada, retinoblastoma accounts for nearly 2% of all cancers diagnosed in children.

Source:  Canadian Cancer Society, World Cancer Day: Childhood cancer in Canada, January 28, 2006.  Available at www.cancer.ca





 

 
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