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Abstract

Incident childhood cancers in the Province of Torino, Italy (population aged 0 to 14 years averaging 0,5 million) have been registered since 1967. Four population-based exhaustive surveys have been done to collect cases diagnosed during the periods 1967 to 1969, 1970 to 1975, 1976 to 1981, and 1982 to 1986. For each registered child, vital status on June 30, 1988 was assessed. This article reports incidence, mortality, and survival rates over a 20-year period. A statistically significant trend toward an increased incidence of soft tissue sarcomas was identified. Statistically insignificant trends included an increased incidence of brain tumors (probably reflecting improved diagnostic procedures) and a decreased incidence of thyroid tumors. Incidence rates of leukemias in the first year of life tended to decrease. As expected, survival rates of some childhood cancers dramatically improved throughout the 20-year period; this occurred in leukemias, brain tumors, soft tissue sarcomas, and renal tumors. Survival rates are compared with observations in comparable population-based series.