Mor Kandlik Eltanani, Information Services Division, NHS National Services Scotland
This year, ISD has a new annual publication on Children and Young people with Cancer in Scotland. While our existing
publications on cancer incidence and mortality include children and young people, the classification of cancer types is based on anatomical site and is more suited to adults. Many adult cancers are caused by modifiable lifestyle factors or are associated with increasing age. However, the determinants of cancers in children and young people are very different and as children and young people usually live many decades after a diagnosis of cancer, the implications for their future health are vast.
During 2007-2016 1,275 children (ages 0-14) were diagnosed with cancer and 2,032 young people (ages 15- 24) were diagnosed with cancer. The numbers of new cancers in children have risen most years from 2010 onwards. The world age-adjusted rate – or risk – of cancer increased by a similar amount. This suggests an increase in the likelihood of being diagnosed with cancer rather than a change in the population at risk. There are no clear patterns in incidence in young people.
Figures 1 and 2 show the mean number of cancer diagnoses per year by age and type of cancer. It shows that cancers differ not only in how common they are, but also in the typical age of diagnosis. Between 2007-2016 nearly a third (31%) of the cancers in children were Leukaemias, and just over a quarter (27%) were brain and central nervous system (CNS) tumours. While Leukaemias peak at ages 2-3, brain and CNS tumours decline in diagnosis from birth. Among young people, the most common diagnoses were carcinomas (21%); lymphomas (18%); and melanomas and skin cancers (16%).
For children diagnosed between 2007-2011, one-year survival was 92.0%. By 2012-2016, the figure appeared to be marginally higher, at 93.3%, but this change may be due to chance (Figure 3&4). Similarly, the five- year survival figures for the two periods were 83.8% and 84.2%, respectively.
Generally, there are no clear trends in mortality for children or young people over time. Notably, the numbers of deaths from cancer among children and young people are small. In the ten year period 2007-2016, 191 children and 248 young people died of cancer in Scotland.
https://www. isdscotland.org/ Health-Topics/Cancer/ Publications/2019-02- 26/2019-02-26-CYPC- Report.pdf
Our publication uses data shared by patients and collected by the NHS as part of their care and support.