Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

INTRODUCTION: Clinical presentations of childhood leukaemia have been reported in case-only studies. The timing when these presentations start to occur prior to diagnosis is less clear. METHODS: In this nested case-control study, 1,025 and 334 children with lymphoid and myeloid leukaemia, respectively, were matched (1:30) to population-based controls by sex, region and year of birth. An index date was assigned for each control when the matched case was diagnosed. Healthcare access records of cases and controls in the year before the index date were extracted. RESULTS: Children with lymphoid leukaemia started to visit doctors more often at least 2 months before leukaemia diagnosis (P < 0.05). Various presentations were recorded in these visits: rates of haematological presentations, musculoskeletal presentations, and injuries started to increase significantly at least 3 months before diagnosis; rates of respiratory, gastrointestinal and urinary tract presentations did not increase significantly until the last month. The findings for myeloid lymphoma were less clear, but children appeared to visit doctors more often at least 4 months before diagnosis, and the rate of haematological presentations also started to increase at least 4 months before leukaemia diagnosis. Although haematological presentations were most strongly associated with undiagnosed leukaemia (odds ratio > 290 in the last month), the majority (>96%) of children with haematological presentations did not have leukaemia if they had not been diagnosed in their first visit. CONCLUSIONS: We described a clinical picture in the year before leukaemia diagnosis. These findings revealed ongoing difficulties in early diagnosis of childhood leukaemia in healthcare settings.

Original publication

DOI

10.1002/pbc.26029

Type

Journal article

Journal

Pediatr Blood Cancer

Publication Date

08/2016

Volume

63

Pages

1387 - 1393

Keywords

cancer screening, childhood leukaemia, early diagnosis, electronic health record, epidemiology, personalised medicine, Adolescent, Case-Control Studies, Child, Child, Preschool, Gastrointestinal Diseases, Humans, Leukemia, Lymphoid, Leukemia, Myeloid, Lung Diseases, Registries, Taiwan, Urologic Diseases