More and more children are suffering from various types of cancer
Nowadays more and more people get cancer. The diseases often end with the death of those affected. Researchers have now found that children are also increasingly developing cancer. In less than two decades, the number of childhood cancer cases increased by forty percent.
Scientists from charity Children with Cancer Uk found in an investigation that the number of childhood cancer cases is increasing rapidly. Over the past twenty years, about 40 percent more children have contracted cancer. The causes for this are manifold. For example, air pollution and the use of pesticides have been linked to this increase. The doctors publish the results of their study at a conference on Child Cancer Awareness Month.
Many children suffer from cancer
Cancer is a malignant new tissue formation or a malignant tumor. The corresponding diseases are widespread around the world. Doctors have long been looking for new medicines and treatment options for the dreaded cancer. Not only adults are at risk of cancer, more and more children are getting cancer, the British newspaper "The Independent" quotes the scientists.
Cancer cases in children increase by 40 percent
In less than two decades, the cancer rate in children increased by about 40 percent. There are approximately 1,300 additional cancer diagnoses in people under the age of 25 in the UK each year compared to 1998, the researchers explain. These additional diseases cost the National Health Service (NHS) about £ 130m a year. There are many reasons for the diseases. For example, other studies recently found that children of overweight fathers have an increased risk of breast cancer.
What types of cancer are particularly common in children?
It is alarming, for example, that the number of cases of colon cancer in children has increased by 200 percent. Children's thyroid cancer has more than doubled. Cancer of the ovary increased by 70 percent, the scientists say. Cervical cancer in children increased by 50 percent.
Cancer is the leading cause of death in children under the age of 14
In the UK alone, around 4,000 children and adolescents develop cancer each year. Cancer is the leading cause of death in children up to 14 years of age, the doctors are quoted by the daily The Independent. The strong increase of 40 percent in about 16 years is partly due to population growth. However, the incidence rate per 100,000 people has also increased by 30 percent, the scientists explain.
Lifestyle and emerging environmental factors influence the risk of cancer
Lifestyle and a number of environmental factors play a major role in the development of cancer, explains Professor Denis Henshaw, scientific director at Children with Cancer UK. The significant increase in cancer can not be explained by improvements in cancer diagnosis or cancer registration alone. Lifestyle and the environment are additional causal factors that we have to take into account, says Professor Henshaw. Scientists also found that natural radiation also increases the risk of cancer in children.
Air pollution and pesticides increase the risk of cancer
There are several reasons for this dramatic increase. Burnt meat when grilling and electric fields from power lines and hairdryers, for example, increase the risk of cancer, say the scientists. Pregnant mothers' diets and shift work also affect the likelihood of cancer, reports The Independent, citing Professor Henshaw. It is also known that many cancers can be attributed to air pollution and the use of pesticides and solvents. It is very difficult to avoid some of these factors. Curbing global air pollution, for example, feels like we're fighting a hopeless fight, the expert adds.
Large cancer conference on cancer in children
Children with Cancer UK is currently hosting a three-day international conference on cancer in children. In particular, the new possibilities of immunotherapy and influenceable causes of childhood cancer are discussed. Another big topic is the so-called precision medicine. This looks at the genes of living beings, the environment and the lifestyle of those affected, the researchers say.
Targeted therapies work well
There are early signs that the so-called precision medicine for cancer in children has a good effect. This type of treatment will probably save many lives in the future, the researchers speculate. Targeted therapies can reduce the burden of toxicity. These treatments could also improve the quality of life of those affected. (as)