Every year about 400,000 children below the age of 19 years are estimated to be diagnosed with cancer. >80% of children diagnosed from high income group (HIC) countries will become long term survivors. However, 80% of the incidence occur in Low and medium income group countries (LMIC) and only 15-40% of children may be cured. This major discrepancy in treatment outcome between the two is due to lack of awareness on childhood cancer amongst the public, misdiagnosis and/or delay in diagnosis, malnutrition, lack of access to healthcare and supportive care, treatment refusal and abandonment.
Developing a comprehensive cancer control strategy n eeds an understanding of local incidence and burden of cancer in the community. An approximate incidence of childhood cancer incidence in India is estimated based on population based and hospital based cancer registries along with global estimates and local population estimates. Accordingly, it has been estimated that closer to 50,000 children between 0-14 years of age and just over 75,000 children between 0-19 years of age may develop cancer every year in our country. Only about 50% of children are diagnosed and registered and the other 50% never make the diagnosis or die before it