There has been enormous progress in the treatment of childhood cancer in the developed world and the epidemiology in these countries is well described. Hitherto, there has been no attempt to systematically study the burden of childhood cancer in India or to understand how the occurrence and outcome of the disease varies across the country. We have reviewed the epidemiology (incidence, survival, and mortality) of childhood cancer across different population-based cancer registries in India and also compared it with data from the resource-rich countries. Incidence and mortality data were obtained from the National Cancer Registry Program Reports and the Cancer Incidence in 5 Continents publications. Further, a comprehensive review of medical literature was done for information on individual cancers as well as survival data. 1.6 to 4.8% of all cancer in India is seen in children below 15 years of age and the overall incidence of 38 to 124 per million children, per year, is lower than that in the developed world. The considerable inter-regional variation in incidence and mortality rates across India suggests a possible deficiency in ascertainment of cases and death notification, particularly in rural areas. The marked male preponderance of Hodgkin's disease, lower incidence of central nervous system tumors, and higher incidence of retinoblastoma merit further analysis.