Childhood Cancer – What is to Blame for It?
Most individuals who have not been affected by childhood cancer mistakenly believe that childhood cancer is caused by genetic or environmental factors, not simply bad luck, according to a new study by medical researchers at UNSW.
The team of researchers has highlighted community beliefs about what causes cancer in children, an area which remains understudied.
“Few childhood cancers are attributed to genetics or environmental factors, so when children are diagnosed with cancer, families often wonder ‘why me/why us‘?” said lead author Janine Vetsch, postdoctoral research candidate from UNSW Sydney in Australia.
The attributed cause of cancer in childhood cancer patients and their primary caregivers differ to those of adult-onset cancers. Most childhood cancer patients are diagnosed at a young age (often between 0 and 5 years). Children are rarely exposed to carcinogens or long-term environmental factors, or engaging in risky health behaviours.