Massachusetts Cancer Registry Releases Updated Childhood Cancer Report


The latest report on childhood cancer in Massachusetts spans from 2009 to 2018.

The Massachusetts Cancer Registry (MCR) is pleased to announce the release of its latest report on childhood cancer in Massachusetts, childhood/adolescent cancer in Massachusetts, 2009-2018. This is the MCR’s third report on childhood cancer spanning thirty years. The data were analyzed by four age groups (0-4, 5-9, 10-14, 16-19), sex, and race/ethnicity. Childhood cancers are coded according to the International Classification of Childhood Cancer (ICCC), which is based on the type of tissue affected (histology or morphology). The current version of ICCC is ICCC Recode Third Edition.

Some findings from the MCR report include:

  1. The overall incidence rate was 207/1,000,000. The incidence in males was 218/1,000,000, which was significantly higher than in females 195/1,000,000.
  2. There were no significant trends in the incidence of childhood/adolescent cancer from 2009-2018 for either the four age groups or the four race/ethnicity groups.
  3. The age-specific incidence rate of childhood cancer was highest for Massachusetts males 0-4 and for females 1519.
  4. For incidence, leukemia ranked highest among the youngest age group, while central nervous system (CNS) tumors ranked among the top two cancers for all age groups.
  5. From 2008-2018, cancer was ranked the fourth most common cause of death for Massachusetts children aged 04, the most common for children aged 5-9 and 10-14 and the fourth most common for adolescents aged 15-19.
  6. Asian non-Hispanics (NH) had the highest mortality rate for all cancer deaths, but it was not significantly elevated. This elevation was driven by Asian NHs having a significantly higher mortality rate of CNS cancers compared to the other groups.
  7. CNS cancer was the leading cause of cancer deaths among Massachusetts children and adolescents from 20092018, followed by leukemia, cancers of the soft tissue, bone, and adrenal gland.
  8. Childhood/adolescent cancers have stable incidence and mortality rates from 2009-2018. In the MCR’s prior report for 2000-2009, incidence rates increased due to slight though significant increases in leukemia and Hodgkin lymphoma. Mortality rates were stable for the 2000-2009 report.

Thanks to Richard Knowlton, MS, epidemiologist, at the MCR, for all his work on this report. As a participant in the National Childhood Cancer Registry, the MCR looks forward to contributing to research and to improved outcomes for children diagnosed with childhood cancers.

Discover more details and findings from the MCR report.

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