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Pathology. 1999 May;31(2):83-9.

Childhood cancer in New Zealand 1990 to 1993.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Auckland, New Zealand.


An epidemiological study of childhood cancer in New Zealand identified 409 children aged 0 to 14 years with malignant neoplasms newly diagnosed between 1990 and 1993 inclusive. The original microscopic material on which the diagnoses were based was reviewed in 398 cases and the neoplasms were allocated into the 12 major groupings and 48 further subcategories of the International Classification of Childhood Cancer (ICCC). The pathology reviewers agreed with group and subcategory classification of the confirmed cancers in all but one case of acute leukemia and three cancers of the central nervous system. Changes were also made in the FAB classification of three cases of acute non-lymphocytic leukemia and in the further subcategorisation of three Hodgkin's lymphomas and ten astrocytomas. The results show a high level of diagnostic accuracy for confirmed childhood neoplasms in that time period. Nine of 15 cases of malignant melanoma notified to the study were not confirmed for various reasons, which included a change in the pathological diagnosis in four cases. Compared with Victoria (Australia), New Zealand has a high incidence rate of lymphomas in boys and an unusual female preponderance of Wilms' tumor cases.

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