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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 1680-5348Print version ISSN 1020-4989


PINEROS, Marion; GAMBOA, Oscar  and  SUAREZ, Amaranto. Child mortality from cancer in Colombia, 1985-2008. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2011, vol.30, n.1, pp.15-21. ISSN 1680-5348.

OBJECTIVE: Determine the magnitude of child mortality from cancer in Colombia and evaluate the trends in its evolution from 1985 to 2008. METHODS: Mortality in the Colombian population aged 0-14 years from cancer in any site (e.g., leukemia, malignant tumors of the central nervous system (CNS), nonHodgkin's lymphoma, Hodgkin's lymphoma, bone tumors, kidney tumors) during this period was analyzed. The mean change in the variations of cancer mortality trends in this age group was calculated. RESULTS: Deaths from cancer accounted for 3.5% of mortality in children under 15 years of age. During the periods 1985-1989 and 2005-2008 there was a decrease in mortality from cancer in both sexes, with figures dropping from 54.4 deaths per million to 44.8 deaths per million in boys and from 40.9 deaths per million to 37.9 deaths per million in girls. There was a statistically significant decrease in leukemia- and lymphoma-related mortality, whereas mortality associated with cancers of the CNS increased significantly. CONCLUSIONS: In spite of slight downward trends in mortality from leukemia and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, childhood cancer mortality rates in Colombia remain high. Significant work on treatments for childhood cancer is required to obtain greater success.

Keywords : Child health; child mortality; neoplasms; Colombia.

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