Childhood cancer in Uruguay: 1992-1994. Incidence and mortality
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BACKGROUND: The referral of all children with cancer in Uruguay to a single center affords the opportunity to generate population-based incidence and mortality rates in this developing country in Latin America. PROCEDURE: All incident cases of cancer in children, 0-14 years of age, were ascertained from a combination of three sources for the period January 1992-December 1994. Diagnoses were grouped according to the International Classification of Childhood Cancer. Information on the size and age distribution of the total population was obtained from national census records. Follow-up was undertaken until December 1999 to afford a minimum interval of 5 years and the determination of mortality rates. RESULTS: The average annual incidence was 133.6 cases of cancer per million children per year and the disease distribution was similar to that in industrialized countries, with the exception of a higher rate and younger age distribution for the Hodgkin disease. The overall age-standardized mortality rate from cancer in childhood, at 6.5 per 100,000, was approximately twice that in the United States and Canada. CONCLUSIONS: Basic indicators of development suggest that Uruguay is more akin to the countries of North America and Western Europe than to those in the developing world. An opportunity has been identified to improve the outcome for children with cancer in this country.
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