Childhood cancer in developing countries

Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2004 Apr-May;21(3):237-53. doi: 10.1080/08880010490276971.


The problem of childhood cancer cannot be evaluated separately from developmental levels and states of health of the countries. Rapid increase in population, poverty, poor hygiene, lack of education, and multitude health problems impede the development of pediatric oncology and success of the management of childhood cancer in developing countries. More than 85% pediatric cancer cases occur in developing countries that use less than 5% of world resources. The rate will exceed 90% in the next two decades, due to the increase of youth population in favor of developing countries. Incidence rates, pathology, and clinical characteristics of various cancers seem different in developing and developed countries. Different environments, life styles, dietary habits, and hygienic conditions are the main reasons for those differences. Unprecedented changes in diagnostic techniques, treatment methods and supportive care have occurred during the last decades. Consequently, management has improved and the mortality rates have decreased. Most of the children with cancer living in developing countries could not profit from those advances in pediatric oncology because of the cost.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Age Distribution
  • Child
  • Developing Countries* / economics
  • Disease Progression
  • Humans
  • Lymphoma / epidemiology
  • Lymphoma / microbiology
  • Neoplasms / economics
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Neoplasms / mortality