Background: The Government of Trinidad and Tobago is in the process of developing a comprehensive National Oncology Programme. Regarding Paediatric Oncology, it is necessary to characterize this population to adequately direct its development. This report describes the incidence of childhood cancer in Trinidad and Tobago.
Procedure: The data were extracted from the National Cancer Registry of Trinidad and Tobago and the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex. Malignancies were coded with the International Classification of Childhood Cancer, 3rd edition. Incidence rates were calculated for the period 2001–2006, age 0–14 years and by county.
Results: The crude incidence rate of childhood cancer was 1.9 per 100 000 patient years (pyrs). One hundred and forty-five cases were reviewed for the six-year period with an incidence rate of 7.5 per 100 000 pyrs. The highest incidence was in children < 5 years: 14 per 100 000 pyrs for males and 11.4 per 100 000 pyrs for females. Leukaemias and central nervous system tumours formed the majority of the cancers (58.6%), however nephroblastoma was more common than neuroblastoma especially in females < 5 years: 2.7 per 100 000 pyrs compared with 1.2 per 100 000 pyrs for neuroblastoma. The incidence of all childhood cancers did not vary across counties, however, there was a higher incidence of leukaemia in three counties.
Conclusion: The results provide insight into the incidence of childhood cancer in Trinidad and Tobago. It is lower than in developed countries. There are some unique findings in the incidence of nephroblastoma in girls less than five years of age and the relatively higher incidence of leukaemia in three counties. Further analysis is required in these areas.