• Introduction
  • Total Childhood Cancer
  • Leukemias
  • Lymphomas
  • Nervous System Cancers
  • Kidney Cancers
  • Bone Cancers
  • Soft-Tissue Sarcomas
  • Discussion
  • Childhood Cancer

    Chapter II

    Rates and Risk Factors
    for Specific Childhood Cancers


    Tables 2 through 5 present county incidence rates for the most common childhood cancers over the period 1979 through 1995. Table 6 presents county incidence rates for less common childhood cancers for the entire period from 1979 through 1995. At the county level, the numbers of cancer cases and the population reflected in each rate are very small, resulting in rates that appear to move up and down sharply even when there are only small changes in the numbers of cases. There were no statistically significant increases among any of these county rates for 1979-1995 compared to New Jersey as a whole. Since the incidence rates are adjusted only for age, they do not account for differences in other factors, such as parental behaviors, occupation, and economic status, that may affect incidence of childhood cancer.

    Observations of Increased and Decreased Childhood Cancer in Counties and Small Geographic Areas

    As with adult cancers and non-infectious diseases in general, there is wide fluctuation between places and over time in the occurrence of pediatric cancers. As noted above, incidence rates for New Jersey counties have wide differences, but within the range of typical variation. For example, counties with the highest or lowest rate in some time period are not the highest or lowest in another time period. Most of the variation is a reflection of random fluctuation. Since, as discussed above, the patterns and risk factors for childhood cancers depend on the specific diagnosis and the specific histologic type, it is not generally useful to combine different types of cancer when evaluating the incidence rates.

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