Background: Paediatric cancers represent about 1% of all diagnosed cancers around the world (1). This study aimed to describe the epidemiology and determine the factors associated with mortality of paediatric cancers managed at a Haitian paediatric hospital.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional study on the cases of paediatric cancers admitted in St Damien Hospital (SDH) in Haiti from 2010 to 2014. The cancers were studied according to the age (0‒17 years of age), the gender, the geographic origin, the cancer type, the type of treatment and the therapeutic outcome. The study evaluated whether the gender, an age group, the Department of origin, the type of cancer, the type of treatment, the occurrence of relapse or a complication was significantly associated with mortality among this population.
Results: One hundred and thirty-nine cases of paediatric cancers (77 males, 62 females) were admitted. The prevalence of cancers was 0.76% (95% CI: 0.64%-0.89%). Eleven different types of cancers were diagnosed and the most common ones were the leukaemias (30.93%), renal tumours /Wilms tumour (30.93%), retinoblastoma (15.11%), sarcomas (6.47%) and lymphomas (5.04%). More than 50% of the children with cancer were less than five years of age. The cure rate was 74.1%, the relapse rate 15.10% and the overall mortality rate 25.9%. The odds of dying were significantly higher in children with blood cancers (Odds Ratio (OR) = 2.2; p = 0.04), with relapse (OR = 127.5; p < 0.01) or a complication (OR = 5.5; p < 0.01).
Conclusion: Paediatric cancer care needs to be improved in Haiti, especially for blood cancers, in order to reduce relapse, complications and mortality.
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