Background Neuroblastoma is a major contributor to childhood cancer mortality, but its prognosis varies with age and stage of disease, and some tumours regress spontaneously.
Urinary screening programmes or clinical examination may detect the disease before symptoms appear, but the benefit of early diagnosis is uncertain.
We examined the incidence, pattern, and presentation of neuroblastoma in four European countries.
Method Population-based incidence rates were derived for France, Austria, Germany, and the UK.
Age, sex, and stage distribution were analysed by Mantel-Haenszel techniques and Poisson regression.
The proportion of incidental diagnoses (cases without symptoms found at routine health checks or during investigation of other disorders) and mortality rates were also compared.
Findings Between 1987 and 1991,1672 cases of neuroblastoma were diagnosed in children under 15 years old (France, 624 ; Austria, 69 ; Germany, 493 ; UK, 486).
Age-standardised annual incidence was significantly lower in the UK (101/million) than in France (125) and Germany (114).
In the UK a deficit of low-stage disease in infants was accompanied by an excess of stage IV in older children.
The UK had significantly fewer incidental diagnoses (8%) than Austria (27%) and Germany (34%). UK mortality rates were significantly higher than German or French rates.
Interpretation In the UK, neuroblastoma diagnosis is delayed, possibly because of a less rigorous system of health checks for children. (...)
Mots-clés Pascal : Neuroblastome, Epidémiologie, Dépistage, Exploration clinique, Critère âge, Diagnostic, Europe, Royaume Uni, Enfant, Homme, Système nerveux pathologie, Système nerveux sympathique pathologie, Tumeur maligne, Organisation santé
Mots-clés Pascal anglais : Neuroblastoma, Epidemiology, Medical screening, Clinical investigation, Age criterion, Diagnosis, Europe, United Kingdom, Child, Human, Nervous system diseases, Autonomic neuropathy, Malignant tumor, Public health organization
Notice produite par :
Inist-CNRS - Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique
Cote : 98-0420361
Code Inist : 002B17E. Création : 25/01/1999.