Brain cancer is emerging as a major disease among children for a new analysis by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, US has found that 3 out of 10 cancer-related deaths among children in the US was caused by brain cancer.
The numbers are particularly important for leukemia was the number one killer up until a couple of years. New analysis using the data from National Center for Health Statistics’ 1999–2014 multiple cause-of-death mortality files has indicated that brain cancer has now topped leukemia. Another important finding of the analysis is that there has been a marked decline in the cancer death rate for children and adolescents aged 1–19 years in the United States for the period 1999–2014.
Further, data also reveals that cancer death rate for children and adolescents aged 1–19 years was 20 per cent lower in 2014 (2.28 per 100,000) than in 1999 (2.85) as shown in the figure below.
The analysis also revealed that cancer death rates during the mention period for male children and adolescents aged 1–19 years were continually higher than for their female counterparts. During this period, the male-to-female rate ratios ranged from 1.1 to 1.3, and the rate ratio was 1.3 in 2014.
Going back to the finding regarding brain cancer, if we look at the years 1999 and 2014, more than one-half of all cancer deaths among children and adolescents aged 1–19 years were attributable to either leukemia or brain cancer. These two sites combined accounted for 53.4% of all cancer deaths to persons aged 1–19 years in 1999 and 54.8% in 2014.
Further, three out of 10 cancer deaths among children and adolescents aged 1–19 years in 1999 were due to leukemia (29.7 per cent), the most common site, whereas about one in four were due to brain cancer (23.7 per cent). By 2014, these percentages reversed and brain cancer was the most common site, accounting for 29.9 per cent of total cancer deaths.
Other common sites of cancer causing deaths among children and adolescents aged 1–19 years were: bone and articular cartilage (10.1 per cent in 2014), thyroid and other endocrine glands (9.0 per cent), and mesothelial and soft tissue (7.7 per cent). These cancers, along with brain cancer and leukemia, accounted for more than 8 out of 10 (81.6 per cent) cancer deaths among children and adolescents in 2014.
Summing if up the overall cancer death rate declined by one-fifth during 1999–2014, with all 5-year age groups experiencing declines ranging from 14 per cent to 26 per cent.