A recent study, coordinated by the World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), published in Lancet Oncology shows that childhood cancer was 13 percent more common between 2001-2010 than in the 1980s, totaling to an annual incidence rate of 140 per million children aged 0-14 years worldwide.1 2
Although the data for this study was gathered from 153 cancer registries in 62 countries, the results are predominantly based on a child population coverage of almost 100 percent in North America and Western Europe.1
Based on 300,000 cancer cases diagnosed in 2001-2010, leukemia was the most common cancer in children under the age of 15, amounting to a third of all childhood cancer cases. Tumors of the central nervous system accounted for 20 percent of all cases and lymphomas accounted for 12 percent.1 In children under the age of five, a third of the cases involved embryonal tumors such as neuroblastoma, retinoblastoma, nephroblastoma, etc.1
Also for the first time ever, the study reports on cancer in adolescents (15-19 years old). Based on 100,000 cancer cases, the annual incidence rate was 185 per million adolescents.1
IARC director Christopher Wild, PhD states:
Cancer is a significant cause of death in children and adolescents, in spite of its relatively rare occurrence before the age of 20 years. This extensive new set of information on the pattern and incidence of cancer in young people is vital to raise awareness and to better understand and combat this neglected area of health early in life.1
According to a press release by IARC, cancers in children are more likely triggered due to a genetic predisposition when compared to cancer in adults. “To enable the identification of causes that could possibly be avoided, high-quality information about cancer occurrence is needed for a representative proportion of the global population.” states the release.1
It is worth noting that most vaccine package inserts include a statement along the lines of, “This vaccine has not been evaluated for its carcinogenic or mutagenic potentials or impairment of fertility.” This suggests that the potential link between cancer and vaccination has not been thoroughly studied.3
1 International Agency for Research on Cancer. Latest data show a global increase of 13% in childhood cancer incidence over two decades. Press Release Apr. 11, 2017.
2 Steliarova-Foucher E, Colombet M, Ries L, Moreno F, Dolya A, Bray F, Hesseling P, Shin H, Stiller C. International incidence of childhood cancer, 2001–10: a population-based registry study. The Lancet Oncology 2017.
3 Martin L. Is There a Vaccine Cancer Connection? The Truth About Cancer.