Incidence of childhood cancer of the head and neck in Germany


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Abstract

BackgroundOnly very limited data are available in the literature on the incidence of childhood cancer of the head and neck worldwide.MethodsBased on data obtained from the national German Childhood Cancer Registry, a total of 370 malignancies of the head and neck in children under the age of 15 (199 boys and 171 girls), which were reported to this institution between 1994 and 2003, were analysed in this study.ResultsThe overall incidence of malignancies of specific sites of the head and neck in Germany is 4.48 per 100000 children. The most frequently observed entities, representing primary tumours, are soft tissue sarcomas (0.39/100000), lymphomas (0.09/100000) and thyroid carcinoma (0.07/100000). The most commonly affected organs are the thyroid (1.21/100000), orbita (0.91/100000), nasopharynx (0.66/100000), tonsils (0.43/100000) and paranasal sinuses (0.14/100000). Overall, boys are more frequently affected than girls; however, incidence increases in girls with age and exceeds that of boys in the age group between 10 and 14 years.ConclusionsThis is a first statistical evaluation detailing cumulative incidences of various histologic types of malignancies of the head and neck including age and gender distribution as well as organ-specific localization in children below the age of 15 in Germany.

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