Pediatric Oncology in Turkey

Kebudi R.

JOURNAL OF PEDIATRIC HEMATOLOGY ONCOLOGY, vol.34, 2012 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


The survival of children with cancer has increased dramatically in the last decades, as a result of advances in diagnosis, treatment and supportive care. Each year in Turkey, 2500 3000 new childhood cancer cases are expected. According to the Turkish Pediatric Oncology Group and Turkish Pediatric Hematology Societies Registry, about 2000 new pediatric cancer cases are reported each year. The population in Turkey is relatively young. One fourth of the population is younger than 15 years of age. According to childhood mortality, cancer is the fourth cause of death (7.2%) after infections, cardiac deaths and accidents. The major cancers in children in Turkey are leukemia (31%), lymphoma (19%), central nervous system (CNS) neoplasms (13%), neuroblastomas (7%), bone tumors (6.1%), soft tissue sarcomas (6%), followed by renal tumors, germ cell tumors, retinoblastoma, carcinomas-epithelial neoplasms, hepatic tumors and others. Lymphomas rank second in frequency as in many developing countries in contrast to West Europe or USA, where CNS neoplasms rank second in frequency. The seven-year survival rate in children with malignancies in Turkey is 65.8%. The history of modern Pediatric Oncology in Turkey dates back to the 1970's. Pediatric Oncology has been accepted as a subspecialty in Turkey since 1983. Pediatric Oncologists are all well trained and dedicated. All costs for the diagnosis and treatment of children with cancer is covered by the government. Education and infrastructure for palliative care needs improvement.