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U.S. Childhood Cancers Vary by Sex, Region
Date:6/2/2008

Pediatric malignancies are more common in the Northeast, and boys are at higher risk than girls, study finds,,,,

MONDAY, June 2 (HealthDay News) -- A sweeping government study of childhood cancers has found numerous differences in cancer types depending on a child's age, sex, race and where he or she lives in the United States.

White children had the highest incidence of all cancers, the researchers found, and youngsters in the Northeast were diagnosed with cancer more often than children in other parts of the country.

The study also found that boys were more likely to have a pediatric malignancy than girls, and that adolescents are more likely to have cancer than are younger children.

"We looked at the childhood cancer incidence rate from 2001 through 2003, and further looked at the data by age, sex, ethnicity and U.S. census region," said the study's lead author, Dr. Jun Li, an epidemic intelligence office for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta.

"We identified 36,446 cases of childhood cancer during these three years, which is about 166 per every million," he said.

Li said the information for the study, which represents more than 90 percent of the U.S. population, came from 39 National Program of Cancer Registries and five Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) databases.

Results of the study are published in the June issue of the journal Pediatrics.

Three cancers accounted for about 60 percent of all childhood cancers. Leukemias were the most common childhood malignancy, affecting just over 26 percent of youngsters with cancer. Central nervous system tumors, such as brain tumors, were the next most common type of pediatric cancer, affecting about 17.6 percent of children with the illness. Lymphomas affected about 14.6 percent of kids with cancer, according to the study.

Overall, boys were more likely to
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