What is known?
In earlier research, we found that the incidence rate of childhood cancer in Australia (that is, the number of new cases of childhood cancer diagnosed each year per million children) did not change between 1994 and 2006.
What is new?
We have found that the incidence rate of childhood cancer is now increasing. Between 2005 and 2015, the modelled number of cases diagnosed in Australia has increased from 157 to 176 per million children, equivalent to a 1.2% increase per year. If this trend continues, the incidence rate of childhood cancer is predicted to rise by a further 7% over the next 20 years.
What does this mean?
We don’t know enough about the causes of childhood cancer to understand how to prevent it. For the foreseeable future, specialised health services for the diagnosis and treatment of children with cancer should be prepared to meet the expected growth in new cases.
Contact: Danny Youlden
Reference: Youlden DR, Baade PD, Green AC, Valery PC, Moore AS, Aitken JF. The incidence of childhood cancer in Australia, 1983-2015, and projections to 2035. Medical Journal of Australia. 2020; 212(3):113-120.