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

develop cancer than girls. The incidence rate for boys was 174 per million, while the incidence rate for girls was 157 per million. The type of cancer each sex commonly developed also varied. Boys were more likely to have lymphoid leukemia, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, Burkitt lymphoma, hepatoblastoma, osteosarcomas, and more. Girls were more likely to develop kidney cancers, thyroid cancers and malignant melanomas.

The cancer incidence rates for those between 15 and 19 were 210 per million, while the incidence rate in children 14 and under was about 151 per million.

White children were the most likely to have cancer, with an incidence rate of 173 per million. The rate for black children was 118 per million, 131 per million for Asian/Pacific Islanders, and 164 per million for Hispanics. American Indians and Alaska Natives had the lowest rates, with 97 per million.

Geography appeared to make a difference as well. Kids in the Northeastern part of the country are most likely to develop cancer, with an incidence rate of 179 per million. In the Midwest, the rate was 166 per million; in the South, it was 159 per million; and in the West, it was 165 per million. Interestingly, the study also reported that the Northeast, despite having the highest cancer rate, also has the lowest death rate from pediatric cancers.

Li said the researchers weren't able to identify the reasons for the differences in this study, but he believes the data will lay the groundwork for future research. Knowing these differences may help other scientists target their research, he added.

"This is an interesting study, but as a practicing oncologist, I won't be advising families any differently. And, as a father of three sons, I wouldn't have any added concern as a parent living in the Northeast," said Dr. Adam Levy, a pediatric hematologist and oncologist, and director of pediatric neuro-oncology at the Children's Hospital at Montefiore in New
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