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African child cancer deaths could double 2020 levels in eight ...

World

African child cancer deaths could double 2020 levels in eight years

But solutions exist to improve care in sub-Saharan Africa, says Lancet Oncology Commission chairperson

Janice Kew

Africa will account for half the world’s childhood cancers by 2050 unless significant measures are taken, according to a new report.

Infections with cancer-linked viruses, exposure to environmental carcinogens and genetic vulnerabilities are among factors driving cancer rates in Africa ever higher, according to the Lancet Oncology Commission in the report released on Monday. Childhood cancer prevalence in sub-Saharan Africa is substantial, with the incidence in some parts of the region likely exceeding that of high-income countries, with survival of the disease across much of the continent being “dismal”, it said. 

About 400,000 children worldwide are diagnosed with cancer each year, according to the American Childhood Cancer Organisation. In sub-Saharan Africa children aged 14 years and younger have a cancer incidence rate of 8.6 cases per 100,000, with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, leukaemia and kidney cancers comprising 44% of new cases. ..

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