Childhood Cancer Frequency in the Center of Tunisia


Objective: In this paper, we analyzed the frequency of childhood cancer in the Center of Tunisia during1993–2006. Design: The different types of cancer were grouped according to the International Classificationfor Cancer in Children. The general and specific frequencies by age and by sex were analyzed.
Results: A totalof 727 new cases of childhood cancer were registered, with a male to-female sex ratio of 1.7/1. Leukemias hadthe highest frequency (27%) and, of these, lymphoid leukemias were the most prevalent (73.5%). Thereafter, indescending order of frequency, were lymphomas (25.7%), tumors of the central nervous system (CNS, 9.2%),neuroblastomas (7.7%), sarcomas (6.9%), carcinomas (6.3%), bone tumors (5.8%), nephroblastomas (5.5%), andgerminal cell tumors (2.6%). The highest frequency of cancer was found at age 10-14 years (34.9%). Leukemiaswere the most frequent in age groups 1-4 and 5-9 years, whereas, neuroblastomas and lymphomas were themost frequent at age under one year and 10-14 years, respectively. Of those cases of solid tumors, 55.8% werediagnosed as having advanced stages of the disease.
Conclusion: Leukemias, lymphomas, and CNS tumors werethe principal cancers in the Center of Tunisia. A childhood cancer registry with high-resolution data collectionis advocated for in-depth analysis of pediatric malignancies.