A Special Issue of the journal Cancer Epidemiology, coordinated by scientists from the Environment and Lifestyle Epidemiology Branch of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as guest editors, is now available. The Special Issue focuses on childhood cancer and, in particular, on the unacceptably high levels of childhood cancer underdiagnosis and lack of treatment that prevail in most of the world.
An up-to-date snapshot of the current situation is presented in a series of articles that examine the global burden and geographical variations of childhood cancer incidence and mortality, and the patterns of care in high-income countries compared with low- and middle-income countries in Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. There are stark disparities between different parts of the world in the survival of childhood cancer patients.
Many efforts to reduce these disparities are hampered by the lack of resources, such as specialized health-care infrastructure or the required clinical specialists. Also discussed in this Special Issue are roadblocks to progress, and calls for more complete data to enable researchers to formulate more informed hypotheses on the origins of childhood cancer.