Pediatric Cancer Incidences in Nebraska

Feb 5, 2018 | Research

Temporal and geospatial trends of pediatric cancer incidence in Nebraska over a 24-year period


  • Evaluated the incidence and geospatial trends of pediatric cancer in Nebraska over 24 years.
  • Identified areas of increased incidence that could lead to access to care issues.
  • Utilized Geographic Information System mapping tools to reduce the geographic burden for families in rural communities.


Data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) revealed that the incidence of pediatric cancer in Nebraska exceeded the national average during 2009–2013. Further investigation could help understand these patterns.


This retrospective cohort study investigated pediatric cancer (0–19 years old) age adjusted incidence rates (AAR) in Nebraska using the Nebraska Cancer Registry. SEER AARs were also calculated as a proxy for pediatric cancer incidence in the United States (1990–2013) and compared to the Nebraska data. Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping was also used to display the spatial distribution of cancer in Nebraska at the county level. Finally, location–allocation analysis (LAA) was performed to identify a site for the placement of a medical center to best accommodate rural pediatric cancer cases.


The AAR of pediatric cancers was 173.3 per 1,000,000 in Nebraska compared to 167.1 per 1,000,000 in SEER. The AAR for lymphoma was significantly higher in Nebraska (28.1 vs. 24.6 per 1,000,000; p = 0.009). For the 15–19 age group, the AAR for the 3 most common pediatric cancers were higher in Nebraska (p < 0.05). Twenty-three counties located >2 h driving distance to care facilities showed at least a 10% higher incidence than the overall state AAR. GIS mapping identified a second potential treatment site that would alleviate this geographic burden.


Regional differences within Nebraska present a challenge for rural populations. Novel use of GIS mapping to highlight regional differences and identify solutions for access to care issues could be used by similar states.

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