OBJECTIVES:

Cancer continues to be the leading disease-related cause of death among children and adolescents in the United States. More current information is needed to describe recent cancer trends and identify demographic and geographic variations.

METHODS:

We analyzed data from the National Program of Cancer Registries and Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results statewide registries representing 94.2% of the US population to identify cancers diagnosed among persons aged 0 to 19 years during 2001–2009. Age-adjusted rates and annual percentage change for trends were calculated. Data were stratified by age, gender, race, ethnicity, and geography.

RESULTS:

We identified 120 137 childhood and adolescent cancer cases during 2001–2009 with an age-adjusted incidence rate of 171.01 per million. The overall rate of all cancers combined remained stable over time (annual percent change [APC], 0.3%; 95% confidence interval [CI], −0.1 to 0.7). There was an increase in the overall cancer trend among African American children and adolescents (APC, 1.3%; 95% CI, 0.2 to 2.5). An increasing trend for thyroid cancer was observed among both genders (APC, 4.9%; 95% CI, 3.2 to 6.6) and specifically among adolescents and those in the Northeast, South, and West regions of the United States. Renal carcinoma incidence was increasing significantly overall (APC, 5.4%; 95% CI, 2.8 to 8.1). Extracranial and extragonadal germ cell tumors and melanoma were both significantly decreasing.

CONCLUSIONS:

This study reports the novel finding that renal carcinoma rates are increasing among children and adolescents. This study confirms that thyroid cancer rates are increasing and further describes rising cancer rates among African Americans.

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