Childhood cancer: many patients are not diagnosed

A study carried out by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health (TH Chan), to assess the number of childhood cancer cases in the world, was able to identify that for every two children with cancer one is not diagnosed and, unfortunately, dies without going through a treatment.

The research, published in The Lancet Oncology, shows an estimate made by scientists who compare childhood cancer cases with unregistered cases, in order to highlight the fight against this disease.

For this, they made a simulation based on cases of childhood cancer in 200 countries, taking into account various aspects of the place, such as population growth, incidences in cancer and even the deficiencies in the health areas of the region.

From these analyzes, the researchers came to the conclusion that there are 440,000 new cases of childhood cancer each year . When compared to the official records of diagnoses for this disease, there are only about 200 thousand.

This difference may be related to worldwide problems when it comes to detecting the disease, as many patients with childhood cancer even get diagnosed, but are not registered.

According to the study’s authors, diagnostic errors, poor health services and cases of patients who died before they were even diagnosed are among the answers to explain these numbers.

High incidence in low and middle income countries

Of the 200 countries analyzed, those with the highest number of childhood cancer cases were those of medium and low income, with approximately 92% of incidence.

Among the various subtypes of cancer, the most common are acute lymphoblastic leukemia and Burkitt’s lymphoma, with more alarming numbers in the African continent, in which the cases add up to approximately 19 thousand.

These data show the precariousness of health services, in addition to worrying health authorities so that global initiatives can be taken, offering coverage of medical services worldwide.

In 2018 alone, the National Cancer Institute (INCA) estimated 12,500 new cases of childhood cancer in Brazil, with 2,704 deaths.

Studies like this aim to warn of child cancer numbers and help organizations to include children as a health priority, to prevent cases of early death.