Childhood Cancer in Basrah, Iraq During 2012-2016: Incidence and Mortality

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Department of Family and Community Medicine, College of Medicine, Basrah University, Basrah, Iraq.

2 Basrah General Health Directorate, Basrah, Iraq.


Background: Worldwide, childhood cancer is rare. In addition, a distinct variation in both incidence and type
distribution was reported between countries. Aim: To estimate the incidence and mortality rates of childhood cancer
in Basrah, Iraq during 2012-2016. Methods: This registry based descriptive study included children aged 0-14 years
with primary cancer who were newly diagnosed in Basrah during 2012-2016. The types of malignant tumors were
classified according to International Classification of Childhood Cancer, Version 3 (ICCC-3). The overall and specific
incidence and mortality rates by age and sex were calculated per 100,000 population. Results: A total of 723 new cases
of childhood cancer were registered during the five- year study period, with a male to-female ratio of 1.2/1. Children
aged incidence rate (ASIR) was 13.87/100,000. Boys showed higher incidence rate than girls (14.78 vs. 12.66/100,000).
Leukemia was the most common type of childhood cancer accounting for 35.4%, followed by lymphoma (17.8%),
and central nervous system tumors 11.9%. The overall cancer-specific mortality rate was 6.04/100,000 and the ASMR
was 6.08/100,000 children. Conclusion: The incidence rate of childhood cancer in Basrah as well as the cancer type
distribution was comparable to that reported for developing countries.


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