|KIDS' CANCER RATES|
Pediatrics June 2008
A study released on Monday June 3 2008 suggests that childhood cancer is more common in the northeastern United States. The study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is based on data representing 90% of the U.S. population. It found that cancer affects about 166 out of every million children,
This is a large government study and it is the first to find significant regional differences in pediatric cancer. The highest rate was in the Northeast with 179 cases per million children, while the lowest was among children in the South with 159 cases per million. It may be that cases were under-reported in the South and over-reported elsewhere. The rates for the Midwest and West were nearly identical, at 166 cases per million and 165 per million, respectively.
The cancer incidence in boys was 174 cases per million, compared with 157 cases per million in girls. In white children, the rate was 173 per million, versus 164 per million in Hispanics and 118 per million in blacks. Teenagers had higher rates than younger kids.
A total of 36,446 cancer cases were identified in the study, which analyzed 2000-03 data from state and federal registries.
Some estimates are that environmental factors play a role in 75% of all cancers. One main source is exposure to radiation. Radiation has been linked with the most common types of childhood cancer - brain cancers, leukemia, and lymphoma. Radiation sources include medical X-rays, nuclear power plant emissions, radioactive waste from power plants, nuclear weapons manufacture, and medical applications, and natural sources such as radon gas.
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