Background: The etiology of childhood cancers and its social patterning remains largely unknown. Accounting for socioeconomic status (SES) when exploring the association between race/ethnicity and cancer incidence is necessary to better understand such etiology. We aimed to investigate differences in the incidence of embryonal tumors (ETs) by SES and race/ethnicity in the United States using population-based registries of the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program. Procedure: Children with ETs aged 0-19 years diagnosed between 2000 and 2015 were ascertained from the census tract-level SEER database. SES was measured using a tract-level composite index. Incidence rate ratios (IRRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) by SES quintile and race/ethnicity were estimated using multivariable Poisson regression models. Results: The majority of tumors had lower incidence among nonwhite children compared with non-Hispanic (NH) white children, after controlling for SES. NH blacks had a higher incidence of Wilms tumor than NH whites (IRR: 1.26; 95% CI, 1.13-1.39). There was an increasing linear trend (P = 0.0001) across increasing SES quintile for embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma after controlling for race/ethnicity. Effect modification by race/ethnicity of the relationship between SES and tumor incidence was observed for several groups. Hispanics had a significant, linear trend (P = 0.0005) in the incidence of Wilms tumor, while Asian/Pacific Islanders experienced a significant inverse trend (P = 0.0002). Conclusions: Results from this study suggest differences in the incidence of several ETs by race/ethnicity and that these differences may be modified by SES. Investigation of potential risk factors that are socially patterned is warranted.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by a Fellowship held by JG from the Institute for Molecular Virology Training Program at the University of Minnesota by the National Institute of Health (T32 AI083196).
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- embryonal tumors
- pediatric oncology
- socioeconomic differences