Keywords : Childhood cancer

One-year survival of children with malignant diseases in Basrah

OS. Habib; Ali H. Atwan

The Medical Journal of Basrah University, 2017, Volume 35, Issue 1, Pages 1-10
DOI: 10.33762/mjbu.2017.125131

Background: Childhood cancer represents an important health problem in Basrah with an incidence rate as high as rates in western countries. Little is known about the prognosis and survival of children diagnosed with malignancy after initiation of treatment.
Objectives: to estimate the one-year survival of children diagnosed with malignant diseases in Basrah and to identify non–medical risk factors for the risk of death during the first year following diagnosis.
Methods: This is a hospital-based follow up study of 352 children aged less than 15 years diagnosed with any sort of malignant disease. The study was conducted in Basrah Specialized Hospital for Children over the period (1st of October 2012 to 31st December 2013) and enrolled all newly diagnosed cases during two calendar years (2011-2012 inclusive). The fate of each and every case was ascertained chronologically during and at the end of the 12 months after diagnosis.
Results: The results showed that, of the 352 cases followed up, 102 ( 29.0%) completed their treatment courses at the end of 1st year while 105 (29.8 %) of them were still continuing on treatment , 19 (5.4%) relapsed and still on treatment and 89 ( 25.3 %) of the cases died by the end of first year. The remaining have stopped treatment 25 ( 7.1% ), refused treatment in Basrah 10 ( 2.8% ) or transferred elsewhere on medical advice 2 (0.6%).
The one year survival rate for all the studied children was 74.7%, Thus the one year mortality was 25.3%). Among a set of variables, three "female gender, better mother education and modern type of family accommodation" were significant predictors of one year survival of a child with cancer.
Conclusions: Childhood cancer is major health problem in Basrah in terms of incidence and burden on the health care system. Despite all efforts the one year survival rate was much lower than corresponding figures in many other countries.

Cancer of children in Basrah-Iraq: Person and time characteristics

Al-Ali J; OS. Habib; Al-Imara K; Hassan JG; Al-Diab JM; Hoffmann W; Greiser E

The Medical Journal of Basrah University, 2016, Volume 34, Issue 2, Pages 77-85
DOI: 10.33762/mjbu.2016.117158

Background: Cancer in children though less frequent as compared to cancer in older people, evidence accumulated across the World indicates an increasing risk during the last decades. In Iraq in general and in the south of the country in particular, claims and counter claims are propagated every now and then on the childhood cancer and the proposition that environmental factors are playing a role in the increased risk (if any) is controversial.
Methods: In this study data were compiled on new cancer cases diagnosed in all health care institutions in Basrah among children aged less than 15 years over an eight-year period (2004-2011). Cases were obtained mainly from the population of Basrah governorate but many cases were also visiting from neighbouring governorates. The latter were excluded from the present analysis.
Results: The average annual incidence rate of all childhood cancers was 11.23 per 100000 children. Three groups of cancers occupied the top list. These are leukaemias accounting for 31.1% or 3.56 per 100000 children, lymphomas accounting for 19.6% or 2.20 per 100000 children and brain tumours accounting for 9.7% or 1.09 per 100000 children. A modest rise in the incidence rate was observed over the years 2004-2011.
Conclusions: The evidence for increasing risk with time is not strong. Cancer of children, however, is a significant health problem and requires intensive health care to deal with. Multidisciplinary team research work is essential and comprehensive team approach to care is mandatory.