Childhood cancers constitute important causes of morbidity and mortality in Nigeria. There is a need for us to continue to analyse the patterns of these neoplasms. To review the major studies on childhood malignancies in Enugu, Nigeria and identify trends in paediatric malignancies in this environment. We compared the results of four major studies on childhood malignancies in Enugu, Eastern Nigeria between 1976 and 2004 and assessed the patterns in the frequencies of paediatric cancers in this environment. Lymphomas were the most common childhood malignancy in this environment with Burkitt’s lymphomas being the most common specific paediatric cancer. Nephroblastomas and sarcomas have been on the increase. The pattern of changes in the relative percentage frequencies of leukaemias, retinoblastoma and neuroblastomas has not been consistent. Leukaemias appear to be on the decline but occurrences of retinoblastomas and neuroblastomas have been fluctuating. Since Burkitt’s lymphoma is associated with high prevalence of malaria, Epstein Barr Virus infection, and malnutrition, its persistent high rates suggest strongly that the control of these infections and malnutrition should be intensified.
West African journal of medicine 02/2008; 27(1):3-6.