Survival after childhood cancer diagnosis – impact of social inequality?

Parental socioeconomic factors are suggested to impact childhood cancer survival, but if such associations are seen also in Sweden, a country with universal health care, is not known.

Approximately 250-300 children in the age group 0-14 years are diagnosed with some type of cancer each year in Sweden. The prognosis after diagnosis varies between different types of childhood cancers, but is generally good, with a 10-year survival at approximately 80%, although some specific cancer types have considerably poorer survival. However, despite relatively good survival, still one out of five children diagnosed with cancer dies from the tumor, which makes it the most common cause of death among children (1-14 years) in Sweden. Increasing evidence suggest that parental socioeconomic status affects survival in childhood cancer, with children in lower socioeconomic strata experiencing poorer survival. With the universal health care we have in Sweden, one would hypothesize that no such differences are present. However, earlier studies indicate that also in countries with universal health care, survival rates are affected by parental socioeconomic status.

The overall aim of this research project is to study if survival after childhood cancer diagnosis in Sweden is related to indicators of socioeconomic status or other socio-demographic factors.

A better understanding of potential socioeconomic differences in survival after childhood cancer diagnosis may provide guidance to decision-makers about areas where directed resources may lead to improved survival, and give all children an equal chance to a continued life after childhood cancer diagnosis.

Financing

FORTE

Contact

Publications

Socioeconomic differences in cancer survival among Swedish children.
Mogensen H, Modig K, Tettamanti G, Talbäck M, Feychting M
Br J Cancer 2016 Jan;114(1):118-24

Survival After Childhood Cancer-Social Inequalities in High-Income Countries.
Mogensen H, Modig K, Tettamanti G, Erdmann F, Heyman M, Feychting M
Front Oncol 2018 ;8():485

Social Inequalities Along the Childhood Cancer Continuum: An Overview of Evidence and a Conceptual Framework to Identify Underlying Mechanisms and Pathways.
Erdmann F, Feychting M, Mogensen H, Schmiegelow K, Zeeb H
Front Public Health 2019 ;7():84