Oct. 21 (UPI) -- Russian government officials say the number of certain child and teenage cancer patients dying in St. Petersburg -- which has a population of 5.3 million -- has increased by nearly 700 percent over the past decade.
Scientists said in a report cancer rates soared 679 percent among child patients between 10 and 14 years old, between 2008 and 2017. Cancer-related deaths among children between 15 and 19 climbed by 200 percent, and those between 5 and 9 16 percent.
The study said the overall increase in mortality in St. Petersburg residents, between 5 and 19, increased -- particularly when related to oncological diseases of the brain, soft tissues and lymphoid leukemia.
The analysis said mortality rates among adult cancer patients over the same period, however, declined.
The child figures reflect cuts in cancer funding some Russian regions have made in recent years.
Authorities in St. Petersburg say they aim to improve diagnostic methods, buy new treatment equipment and drug therapies.