Kumaran Chinnappa1, Nisarga R2

Barring malnutrition and infection, cancer is the most common cause of death in children below the age of 14 years of age. Malignancies are coming into greater focus because of the preventive measures being taken for the former.
In general, the features of malignancy in children differ greatly from neoplasm in adults. Tissues which are developing and growing are more likely to undergo neoplastic transformation. Hence, high incidence of embryonic cancers in children.
Today, the diagnosis of cancer particularly in children is still regarded as in some circles as death sentences for the malignant disease is second only to trauma and infectious diseases as a killer in children above the age of one year. Hence, early diagnosis and confirmation by haematological and histopathological methods are crucial in early diagnosis and treatment.
This study was undertaken to evaluate the incidence and morphological features of malignant neoplasm occurring in children. The present study is a retrospective study undertaken in the Department of Pathology, JJM Medical College, Davangere, over a period of three years, i.e., March 1994-February 1997. The material was obtained from paediatric patients aged from 0-14 years admitted to Chigateri General Hospital, Bapuji Child Health Institute attached to JJM Medical College, Davangere, and Hospitals and nursing homes in and around Davangere.
1. This study presents an observation on the paediatric malignancies in relation to age, sex and incidence and in the clinical and morphological findings.
2. The malignant tumours in paediatric age group are less common and they form about 10.90% of malignant tumours occurring at all ages.
3. These tumours show a slight male preponderance compared to females in the ratio of 1.2:1.
4. 38.75% of the tumours were encountered in children below the age of 5 years. Most of the tumours (61.25%) occurred between 6-14 years indicating a higher incidence with increasing growth.
5. The commonest tumours in the order of frequency were leukaemia’s (38.75%), lymphomas (16.25%), retinoblastoma (8.75%), Wilms tumour (6.25%) and Ewing’s tumour (6.25%).
The malignancies in the childhood are a commonest cause of death in the west after the accidents whereas in India it is the next common causes of death after malnutrition and infections. As the embryonic tumours have good prognosis if diagnosed early and treated if it suggested that the antenatal data regarding the aetiological factors and screening of children of such parents for the possible childhood tumours will help us to control and treat the childhood tumours well in advance.