The aim of this study was to describe time trends in incidence, treatment and survival of children (0-14 years) and young adults (15-24 years) with cancer in an area in the Netherlands with a long registration period. Between 1973 and 1999, the population-based Eindhoven Cancer Registry (ECR) recorded 852 children and 1162 young adults with a malignancy and they were actively followed up until 1 July, 2003. The world standardised incidence rates for both children and young adults showed an increasing trend until 1997 and this flattened off afterwards (estimated annual percentage change [EAPC] = 3.1%, P = 0.66 for children and EAPC = 3.6%, P = 0.06 for young adults). Lymphomas in children and testicular malignancies and melanomas in young adults seemed to increase in particular. Better detection probably led to higher completeness for gliomas. Initial treatment for leukaemias and lymphomas in children has changed, protocols prescribe more chemotherapy and less radiotherapy. For all cancers combined, the 10-year survival rate for children significantly improved from 53% (95% confidence interval [95% CI] 45-61%) in 1973-1982 to 75% (95% CI 69-81%) in 1993-1999 (P-value < 0.05). The 10-year survival rate for young adults significantly improved from 57% (95% CI 49-65%) to 81% (95% CI 77-85%) (P-value < 0.05). We demonstrated significantly higher five-year survival rates for children with Hodgkin's disease (HD) and young adults with HD, non-seminoma or melanoma diagnosed in 1993-1999.

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European Journal of Cancer
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Reedijk, A.M.J, Janssen-Heijnen, M.L.G, Louwman, M.W.J, Snepvangers, Y, Hofhuis, W.J.D, & Coebergh, J.W.W. (2005). Increasing incidence and improved survival of cancer in children and young adults in Southern Netherlands, 1973-1999. European Journal of Cancer, 41(5), 760–769. doi:10.1016/j.ejca.2004.11.022