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Bone Tumours And Leukaemia

Volume 649: debated on Monday 13 November 1961

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37 and 42.

asked the Minister of Health (1) how many children between the ages of two and four, inclusive, have died in the last two years with bone tumours and leukaemia; and what were the similar figures for 1937–38;

(2) how many adults aged 21 years or over have died in the last two years from bone tumours and leukaemia; and what were the similar figures for 1937–38.

In view of the great importance of this subject, cannot the hon. Lady at least give the figures for Question No. 37? People in Britain want to know the facts, and the information should be given so that it can be known, for instance, in Russia and America.

I am not sure that I understand the hon. Gentleman. I am prepared to circulate them in the OFFICIAL REPORT, but if the hon. Gentleman wants to know the figures, I can tell him that leukaemia shows an increase over the decades, and I can go back further than the period 1937–38, which is asked for in the Question. 1927–28 compared with 1917–18 still shows an increase. Part of this is probably accounted for by improved diagnosis. But, in the case of cancer of the bone, the 1938 figures are higher than those for 1959–60.

Can the hon. Lady say whether the situation is worse for children than for adults; for the group mentioned in Question No. 37?

Following are the figures:

Leukaemia and aleukaemiaCancer of the bone
YearAged 2–4(1) Aged 20 and over(3) Aged 1–4(1) Aged 20 and over
193755(2)725(2)(4)(4)
193857(2)821(2)8761
19591172,0941523
19601102,2701523

Notes

(1) Figures for 21 and over not available.

(2) Excludes deaths assigned to Hodgkin's disease, included under this title in the published Tables until 1939 inclusive.

(3) Figures for aged 2–4 not available

(4) Comparable figures not available before 1938