Medical &Health

Childhood Cancer: Risk factors and causes of cancer in children

It is estimated that each year about 400 000 children and adolescents of 0-19 years old develop cancer. When cancer is diagnosed in a child, it is certainly an atrocious issue of serious tension for parents about their child’s health, treatment, and future. But most of us do not know what causes cancer in children. Continue reading this article to find out the most common causes of cancer in children.

Let’s check out first the types of cancer in children

Generally, types of childhood cancer are not the same as adult cancer. The most common childhood cancers are:

– Leukemia – begins in the bone marrow and spread via the bloodstream

– Brain and central nervous system tumors – gliomas and medulloblastoma

– neuroblastoma – is called a cancer of the nerve tissue and is generally found around the kidneys

– Lymphoma – begin in white blood cells (lymphocytes), usually in the lymph nodes and other lymph tissues

– Wilms’ tumor – known as a type of kidney cancer

– Bone cancer – osteosarcoma and Ewing sarcoma

– rhabdomyosarcoma – develop in muscle and connective tissue

– Retinoblastoma – is called the cancer of the retina

The frequent causes of cancer in children

There are many causes of cancer. Modern Scientists believe that it is the interconnection of many characteristics together that produces cancer. The factors tangled might be environmental, genetic, or constitutional characteristics of the individuals.

Cancers in children often begin or happen in the stem cells that are capable of producing other types of synthesized cells that the body requires. Childhood cancer is usually caused by sporadic (happens by chance) cells.

Epithelial cells in adults generally become cancerous. These cells stroke the body cavity and overlap the body surface. Cancer occurs from environmental disclosure to these cells over a period of time. This adult cancer is sometimes referred to as received for this reason that leads to a threat to genetic child cancer. However, according to Tanya Watt, M.D., a pediatric oncologist at Children’s Health℠ and Associate Professor at UT Southwestern, parents, children, or anybody’s is not responsible at all for developing cancer in children.

Most Common Risk Factors of cancers

As stated above, cancers in adults have been linked with recurring exposures or risk factors. A risk factor is a thing or event that may increase people’s chances of developing a disease. A risk factor does not surely cause the disease, but it may be the cause of making the body less resistant to it. Here as below, some most common mechanisms and risk factors are considered to come up with cancer:

Lifestyle factors

People who are habituated with a high-fat diet and smoking are prone to adult cancer. Besides, those who have to work with venomous chemicals also have a risk of addiction to cancer. Moreover, being overweight, inadequate exercise, excessive consumption of alcohol are some other lifestyle-related risk factors that play major roles in many types of cancer. But lifestyle factors don’t influence cancer within a short time, it takes many a year to be exposed to cancer and most of the children with cancer are too young to have been exposed to these lifestyle factors for an extended time.

Family history, inheritance, and genetics

Generally, the main sources of most incurable diseases are family history. So, it is said that family history and inheritance contribute a lot to some children’s cancers. Cancer can attack a family in varying forms more than once a time. Naturally, it is common that a father or mother dies of any type of cancer, their children are also attacked by that cancer although it may happen after a long time.

Some genetic disorders

We know that the immune system is a compound system that protects our bodies from infection and disease. Let’s know first what is an immune system? Actually, the bone marrow prepares cells that function as part of the immune system when they become mature. But the cells in the bone marrow, the stem cells, become damaged or defective, so when they reproduce to make more cells, they make abnormal cells or cancer cells. The defect of the stem cells happens for some causes which are related to an inherited genetic defect or vulnerability to a virus or toxin.

Changes in genes

Recently, scientists just have discovered how some particular changes in the DNA inside our cells can cause them to become cancer cells. As our parents are the source of our DNA, most of us basically look like them. Not only that, but DNA also influences our risks for developing certain diseases, including some kinds of cancer.

Inherited versus acquired gene mutations

All cancers occur when the DNA in a cell evolves or changes. Cancer cells keep growing and splitting into more cells much faster than healthy cells. Sometimes they can form a tumor first and then can spread throughout the body. However, what causes this mutated cell? In children, it’s unclear.

Exposures to certain viruses

Viruses namely Epstein-Barr and HIV, not only causes AIDS but also are highly responsible for developing particular childhood cancers like Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. In some way, these viruses change some cells. These changed cells then duplicate an altered cell and, ultimately, these alterations become a cancer cell that copies more cancer cells.

Environmental exposures

Research shows that pesticides, fertilizers, and power lines have a direct link to childhood cancers. There is evidence that cancer is happening among children who are living in an environment where the above-mentioned particles are available. Whether prenatal or kid exposure to those agents causes cancer, or whether or not it’s a coincidence, is unknown.

Some styles of high-dose therapy and radiation

In some cases, youngsters UN agencies are exposed to those agents could develop a second malignancy later in life. These sturdy antineoplastic agents will alter cells and/or the system. A second malignancy could be cancer that seems like a result of the treatment of various cancer.

Source: United News of Bangladesh