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Global Burden of Childhood Cancers Examined

Burden of childhood cancers disproportionately affects populations in resource-limited settings

TUESDAY, July 30, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Childhood cancers have a considerable disability-adjusted life-year (DALY) burden, which disproportionately affects countries with low resources, according to a study published online July 29 in The Lancet Oncology.

Lisa M. Force, M.D., from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, and colleagues examined the global burden of childhood cancer based on DALYs. DALYs were calculated as the sum of years of life lost (YLLs, calculated by multiplying age-specific cancer death by the difference between age of death and reference life expectancy) and years lived with disability (YLDs).

The researchers identified 11.5 million DALYs due to childhood cancer globally in 2017; 97.3 percent were attributable to YLLs and 2.7 percent were attributable to YLDs. Globally, childhood cancer was the sixth leading cause of total cancer burden; childhood cancer represented the ninth leading cause of childhood disease burden. Of global childhood cancer DALYs, 82.2 percent occurred in low, low-middle, or middle sociodemographic index locations compared with 50.3 percent of adult cancer DALYs in these locations. Of global childhood cancer DALYs, 26.5 percent were cancers that are uncategorized in the current Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study framework.

“These findings provide a global childhood cancer burden baseline from which to evaluate future progress and highlight that childhood cancer has a role in prioritization frameworks that address global oncology and global child health,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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