Lyon, France, 11 April 2017 – An international study coordinated by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and published today in The Lancet Oncology shows that in 2001–2010, childhood cancer was 13% more common than in the 1980s, reaching an annual incidence rate of 140 per million children aged 0–14 years worldwide. Part of this increase may be due to better, or earlier, detection of these cancers.
Based on information collected globally on almost 300 000 cancer cases diagnosed in 2001–2010, the study showed that leukaemia is the most common cancer in children younger than 15 years, making up almost a third of childhood cancer cases. Tumours of the central nervous system ranked second (20% of cases), and lymphomas accounted for 12% of cases. In children younger than 5 years, a third of the cases were embryonal tumours, such as neuroblastoma, retinoblastoma, nephroblastoma, or hepatoblastoma.