Cancer in Children

Image
According to the World health organization Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide and the total number of cases globally is increasing. The number of global cancer deaths is projected to increase 45% from 2007 to 2030 (from 7.9 million to 11.5 million deaths)

In most developed countries, cancer is the second largest cause of death after cardiovascular disease, and epidemiological evidence points to this trend emerging in the less developed world. This is particularly true in countries in "transition" or middle-income countries, such as in South America and Asia. Already more than half of all cancer cases occur in developing countries.

Cancer affects everyone: the young and old, the rich and poor, men, women and children and represents a tremendous burden on patients, families and societies. Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the world, particularly in developing countries.

Yet, many of these deaths can be avoided. Over 30% of all cancers can be prevented. Others can be detected early, treated and cured. Even with late stage cancer, the suffering of patients can be relieved with good palliative care.

What is suspected about the causes of cancer in children?

The causes of childhood cancers are largely unknown. A few conditions, such as Down syndrome, other specific chromosomal and genetics abnormalities, and ionizing radiation exposures, explain a small percentage of cases.

Environmental causes of childhood cancer have long been suspected by many scientists but have been difficult to pin down, partly because cancer in children is rare and because it is difficult to identify past exposure levels in children, particularly during potentially important periods such as pregnancy or even prior to conception. In addition, each of the distinctive types of childhood cancers develops differently with a potentially wide variety of causes and a unique clinical course in terms of age, race, gender, and many other factors.

A number of studies are examining suspected or possible risk factors for childhood cancers, including early-life exposures to infectious agents; parental, fetal, or childhood exposures to environmental toxins such as pesticides, solvents, or other household chemicals; parental occupational exposures to radiation or chemicals; parental medical conditions during pregnancy or before conception; maternal diet during pregnancy; early postnatal feeding patterns and diet; and maternal reproductive history. Researchers are also studying the risks associated with maternal exposures to oral contraceptives, fertility drugs, and other medications; familial and genetic susceptibility; and risk associated with exposure to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

What have studies shown about the possible causes of childhood cancer?

For several decades, the NCI, a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has supported national and international collaborations devoted to studying the causes of cancer in children. Key findings from this research include the following:
  • High levels of ionizing radiation from accidents or from radiotherapy have been linked with increased risk of some childhood cancers.
  • Children with cancer treated with chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy may be at increased risk for developing a second primary cancer. For example, certain types of chemotherapy, including alkylating agents or topoisomerase II inhibitors (e.g., epipodophyllotoxins), can cause an increased risk of leukemia.
  • Recent research has shown that children with AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome), like adults with AIDS, have an increased risk of developing certain cancers, predominantly non-Hodgkin lymphoma and Kaposi sarcoma. These children also have an additional risk of developing leiomyosarcoma (a type of muscle cancer).
  • Certain genetic syndromes (e.g., Li-Fraumeni syndrome, neurofibromatosis, and Gorlin syndrome) have been linked to an increased risk of specific childhood cancers.
  • Children with Down syndrome have an increased risk of developing leukemia.
  • Low levels of radiation exposure from indoor radon have not been significantly associated with childhood leukemias.
  • Ultrasound use during pregnancy has not been linked with childhood cancer in numerous large studies.
  • Residential magnetic field exposure from power lines has not been significantly associated with childhood leukemias.
  • Pesticides have been suspected to be involved in the development of certain forms of childhood cancer based on interview data. However, interview results have been inconsistent and have not yet been validated by physical evidence of pesticides in the child’s body or environment.
  • No consistent findings have been observed linking specific occupational exposures of parents to the development of childhood cancers.
  • Several studies have found no link between maternal cigarette smoking before pregnancy and childhood cancers, but increased risks have been related to the father’s smoking habits in studies in the United Kingdom and China.

Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the world, particularly in developing countries.

Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide and the total number of cases globally is increasing. The number of global cancer deaths is projected to increase 45% from 2007 to 2030 (from 7.9 million to 11.5 million deaths)
logo_n.png

Email: info@totustuusonline.org
Phone: (1) 323-404-1621

Totus Tuus 2021.

Search