The inter-regional epidemiological study of childhood cancer (IRESCC): Past medical history in children with cancer


The Inter-Regional Epidemiological Study of Childhood Cancer (IRESCC) collected interview and medical information relating to the child’s past medical experiences from parents of 555 children diagnosed with cancer and parents of 1110 unaffected matched controls. No significant associations emerged overall for ante-natal care, place and mode of delivery, length of gestation, birth weight, condition at birth, special care, neonatal procedures or breast-feeding. Few risk factors relating to previous illnesses and medication were found, although increasing numbers of illnesses appeared to be associated with an increased risk of childhood cancer, particularly acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. A highly significant excess of case children had not been immunised (p = 0.005). In general, these results indicate that past medical experiences have little influence on the development of cancer in children.

Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health 1988; 42(3):235-242