Childhood Cancer in the Republic of Suriname (1980 Through 2008)

Dennis R.A. Mans*, 1, 3, Wilco C.W.R. Zijlmans2, 3
1 Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Anton de Kom University of Suriname, Paramaribo,Republic of Suriname
2 Academic Pediatric Center Suriname, Academic Hospital Paramaribo, Paramaribo, Republic of Suriname
3 Scientific Research Center Suriname, Paramaribo, Republic of Suriname

© 2014Mans et al..

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Anton de Kom University of Suriname, Paramaribo,Republic of Suriname; Tel/Fax: 597 441071;E-mail:;


Childhood cancer incidence in Suriname (South-America) was estimated using secondary data from 1980 to 2008, and these findings were stratified according to gender; age groups < 1, 1-4, 5-14, and 15-19 years; and the largest ethnic groups (Hindustanis, Maroons, Creoles, and Javanese). Data were expressed as total numbers, proportions, average yearly numbers, and/or crude incidence rates per 1,000,000 population per year. There were 290 malignancies in the period covered, i.e., about 10 new cases per year or 24 per 1,000,000 per year. The average yearly number of overall cancer increased from approximately 1 every two years in newborns to 3-4 per year in adolescents and young adults. Thirty to 35% of patients were Hindustani or Creole; the proportions of Javanese and Maroons patients were about twice and five times, respectively, lower. Leukemias and lymphomas comprised almost half of cases, each occurring 2 to 3 times per year. Bone tumors, soft-tissue sarcomas, and carcinomas were the most common non-hematological malignancies, occurring once or twice per year. Central nervous system tumors, neuroblastoma, retinoblastoma, renal tumors, primary hepatic tumors, and germ cell tumors were exceedingly rare. In conclusion, childhood cancer incidence in Suriname was relatively low; the individual histiotypes displayed an unusual ranking; and there were differences in the sex, age, and ethnic distribution of overall cancer as well as certain histiotypes. However, these observations might be biased by the use of crude rates, and underdiagnosis and incomplete registration of cases due to the absence of specialized (pediatric) cancer facilities in the country.

Keywords: Age distribution, childhood malignancies, ethnic distribution, histology, incidence, Republic of Suriname, sex distribution.