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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 127-131

Pattern and outcomes of childhood malignancies at Ahmadu bello university teaching hospital, Zaria

Department of Paediatrics, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria, Kaduna State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Hafsat Rufai Ahmad
Department of Paediatrics, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria, Kaduna State
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DOI: 10.4103/2384-5147.190836

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Background: Childhood malignancies are associated with high mortality. Although prognosis and outcomes have improved significantly in developed countries, mortality is still very high in resource-poor settings. Objectives: This study aimed at determining the patterns and outcomes of childhood cancers over an 8-year period in a tertiary center of a developing country. Materials and Methods: A retrospective study of case notes of children admitted for cancer between January 2006 and December 2013. Results: Four hundred and twenty-six case notes of all children admitted with a diagnosis of cancer and also had a histological confirmation were analyzed. The cases accounted for 7.7% of the total admissions into the pediatric wards. More than half of the children 247 (57.9%) were under the age of 5 years, with a slight male:female preponderance of 1.4:1. Retinoblastoma had the highest frequency with 147 cases representing 34.5%, followed by Burkitt lymphoma with 67 cases (15.7%) and acute leukemia with 52 cases (12.2%). Surgery and chemotherapy were the most common modalities of treatment offered to about 80% of the cases. The mortality was high at 137 cases giving a mortality rate of 32.2% among the cancer cases and 2.5% overall from the pediatric wards. While 14 (5.8%) children were formally discharged, almost half of the total cases 224 (52.6%) abandoned treatment while 48 (11.4%) absconded or left against medical advice. Conclusion: The incidence of childhood malignancy was high with retinoblastoma being the most common malignancy encountered, and associated with high mortality and abandonment of treatment.

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