Neonatal tumours in Malaysia: a call for heightened awareness

Yeap, Badrul Hisham; Zahari, Zakaria
February 2010
Pediatric Surgery International;Feb2010, Vol. 26 Issue 2, p207
Academic Journal
journal article
Purpose: Neonatal neoplasms are rare tumours notorious for their atypical presentation and unpredictable behaviour. Their optimal treatment remains uncertain, a dilemma compounded by the deleterious effects of adjuvant chemo- or radiotherapy during this vulnerable period of growth. This paper examined the relatively high incidence of these tumours and its impact on paediatric surgery in Malaysia.Methods: Neonatal tumours treated at the Department of Paediatric Surgery, Kuala Lumpur Hospital over an 8-year period were retrospectively analysed. Besides data pertaining to patient demographics, distribution of tumour types and survival rates, morbidity from disease as well as treatment was emphasised in particular.Results: The 28 neonatal tumours, majority of which were sacrococcygeal teratoma, constituted 7% of all tumours treated by the unit. Surgical excision remained the mainstay of treatment. Mortality and morbidity from disease and treatment were not insignificant, at 7 and 29%, respectively.Conclusion: The outcome of neonatal tumours treated in Malaysia appeared to be influenced by indigenous factors unique to the local healthcare setting. Several solutions were expounded, chief among these are strategies of improved and earlier detection, in addition to the centralisation of expertise for this group of tumours.


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