Childhood cancer incidence in Suriname (South-America) was estimated using secondary data from 1980 to
2008, and these findings were stratified according to gender; age groups < 1, 1-4, 5-14, and 15-19 years; and the largest
ethnic groups (Hindustanis, Maroons, Creoles, and Javanese). Data were expressed as total numbers, proportions, average
yearly numbers, and/or crude incidence rates per 1,000,000 population per year. There were 290 malignancies in the
period covered, i.e., about 10 new cases per year or 24 per 1,000,000 per year. The average yearly number of overall
cancer increased from approximately 1 every two years in newborns to 3-4 per year in adolescents and young adults.
Thirty to 35% of patients were Hindustani or Creole; the proportions of Javanese and Maroons patients were about twice
and five times, respectively, lower. Leukemias and lymphomas comprised almost half of cases, each occurring 2 to 3
times per year. Bone tumors, soft-tissue sarcomas, and carcinomas were the most common non-hematological
malignancies, occurring once or twice per year. Central nervous system tumors, neuroblastoma, retinoblastoma, renal
tumors, primary hepatic tumors, and germ cell tumors were exceedingly rare. In conclusion, childhood cancer incidence in
Suriname was relatively low; the individual histiotypes displayed an unusual ranking; and there were differences in the
sex, age, and ethnic distribution of overall cancer as well as certain histiotypes. However, these observations might be
biased by the use of crude rates, and underdiagnosis and incomplete registration of cases due to the absence of specialized
(pediatric) cancer facilities in the country.