World Journal of Epidemiology and Cancer Prevention Volume No 8

Original Article Open Access

The spectrum of solid childhood malignant tumours in a tertiary health care institution.

soyemi sunday, Osuoji Roland, Obafunwa John, Oyewole Olugbenga, Sanni Ayodele and Emiogun Festus
World Journal of Epidemiology and Cancer Prevention 2014, 3:6



Experts on malignant disease in childhood in the late thirties once stated that cancer is rare in childhood. Now, over seventy years later, childhood cancer is reported to be the leading cause of death in children between 1 and 15 years worldwide. Malignant tumors in infancy and childhood constitute about 2% of all malignant tumors. The objective of this study is to present the spectrum of childhood malignant tumors and compare our findings with similar reports from reliable institutions in other parts of the world.

Patients and method

This is a retrospective study of all cases of malignant tumors seen in children in our department over the last 5 years (from Jan 2008 to Dec 2012). Studies elsewhere had always included hematological malignancies such as lymphoma and leukemia which are relatively more common in pediatric age group. We therefore, decided to exclude hematological malignancies and focus on mesenchymal and other malignancies. The age in months, sex and histological diagnosis were recorded a pre-designed data form. All these were analyzed using the statistical package for social science (SPSS) Software version 20.


Altogether 56 out of 2,610 cases representing 2.2% of all malignant tumors were seen in this study with females and males constituting 52% and 48% respectively. The male to female ratio (M: F) was approximately 1:1. Tumors were more common in children above 42 months of age and least common below 6 months. Wilms’ tumor accounted for 44%, while retinoblastoma accounted for 20%. Others included rhabdomyosarcoma (9%), malignant teratoma (8%) and Yolk sac tumor (5%).


Wilms’ tumor is the most common childhood malignant tumor at our centre. This is in agreement with almost all the studies done elsewhere. However, some variations exist in other centers.


infancy, childhood, malignant tumor.

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