Childhood Cancer Counts in Canada

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Organization: Public Health Agency of Canada

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Childhood cancer, like all cancer, is a large group of diseases that start when abnormal cells in the human body grow out of control. Cancer can cause problems with the body's normal growth and function. Cancer cells can spread to other parts of the body causing more problems.Footnote 1

Almost 84%Footnote * of children survive a cancer diagnosis after five years, and this survival rate is expected to improve with new and better treatments.Footnote 2Footnote 3

Why do we count childhood cancer in Canada?

How do we count childhood cancer in Canada?

The Cancer in Young People in CanadaFootnote (CYP-C) program

What do we know about childhood cancer in Canada?Footnote *

Around 1,000 children get cancer each year

Figure 1

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For every 1,000 children diagnosed with cancer, the expected numbers of each of the 12 main types of cancer are as follows:

  Males Females Total
Leukemia 172 139 311
Central Nervous System Tumours 136 104 240
Lymphoma 78 43 121
Neuroblastoma 44 33 77
Soft Tissue Sarcomas 33 27 60
Renal Tumours 23 22 45
Malignant Bone Tumours 19 20 39
Germ Cell Tumours 18 18 36
Carcinomas and Melanomas 12 19 31
Retinoblastoma 9 9 18
Hepatic Tumours 10 8 18
Other 1 3 4
TOTAL 1000

How has the pandemic impacted childhood cancer in Canada?

What can we do about childhood cancer in Canada?

For more information:

References:

Footnote 1

Canadian Cancer Society. What is cancer? [Internet]. Toronto: Canadian Cancer Society; 2021 [cited 2021 Mar 1]. Available from: https://cancer.ca/en/cancer-information/what-is-cancer

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Footnote 2

Public Health Agency of Canada. Cancer in Young People in Canada: A Report from the Enhanced Childhood Cancer Surveillance System [Internet]. Ottawa: Public Health Agency of Canada; 2017 [cited 2021 Jan 27]. Available from: www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/publications/science-research-data/cancer-young-people-canada-surveillance-2017.html

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Footnote 3

Centre for Surveillance and Applied Research, Public Health Agency of Canada. Cancer in Young People in Canada Data Tool. 2021 Edition. Public Health Infobase. Ottawa (ON): Public Health Agency of Canada, 2020. Available from: https://health-infobase.canada.ca/data-tools/cypc/

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Footnote 4

seer.cancer.gov [Internet]. Bethesda: International Classification of Childhood Cancer (ICCC) Recode ICD-0-3/WHO 2008 [cited 2022 Jan 20]. Available from: https://seer.cancer.gov/iccc/iccc-who2008.html

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Footnote 5

Pelland-Marcotte MC, Xie L, Barber R, Elkhalifa S, Frechette M, Kaur J, et al. Incidence of childhood cancer in Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic. CMAJ [Internet]. 2021 Nov [cited 2021 Dec 20]; 193(47): E1798-E1806. Available from: www.cmaj.ca/content/193/47/E1798

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Footnote *

This infographic includes 2015–2019 statistics for children ages 0–14; Data source: Public Health Agency of Canada, Cancer in Young People in Canada Data Tool, 2021

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Footnote †

The Public Health Agency of Canada provides funding and supports collaboration through the Cancer in Young People in Canada (CYP-C) program. The resulting progress in research and treatment is made possible by the contributions of the study participants, participating paediatric oncology centres, members of the CYP-C. Management and Advisory Committees, the Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario (POGO) and the C17 Council, a network of all the seventeen pediatric cancer centres across Canada

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