Does Cancer Begin In Childhood?

Author: Shannon Miller Lifestyle

Can cancer prevention start as early as childhood?

Certain statistics and studies say that you may be able to reduce your children’s risk of getting many types of cancer later in life.

1. Skin cancer prevention

Studies show that the more the skin has been burned by the sun, the more likely it is to develop cancerous cells later on. In other words, the earlier on the skin burns, the more frequently it could burn in a lifetime, increasing skin cancer risk.
Skin cancer prevention: sunscreen sunscreen sunscreen! It’s all about sunscreen in daily use. Parents usually remember to slather their kids for a day at the beach, but in daily activities, such as simple outdoor play, that skin can get a lot of UV rays that could lead to burns, and problems later on.

For extra protection, try to include these foods in their diet. Recent studies show that these items could help the body’s internal system to protect the skin from harmful rays:

  • citrus fruits
  • green tea
  • carrots
  • red peppers
  • spinach
  • salmon
  • walnuts

Tanning Beds for Teens? Just say “No.” This is a great risk for teenaged skin that could cause serious harm to the layers of skin. If she argues with you, remind her that tanning now means looking old later!

2. Lung cancer prevention

We know to tell our kids to “just say no” to drugs and cigarettes, but do YOU say no around them? What about family members? Second-hand smoke is a big indicator of later problems with lung cancer.

3. Breast, ovarian, and uterine cancer prevention

Studies show that diets high in saturated fats could contribute to breast, ovarian, and uterine cancers. When high-fat foods are introduced at an early age, this increases their cancer risk. A girl who eats a diet high in saturated fats gains unhealthy weight early on, which increases her feminine hormone production at an early age. The earlier a girl begins producing reproductive hormones, the more likely she is to suffer from cancer of the breast, ovaries, or uterus later on. Even if the physical outcome is not obesity, a diet high in unhealthy saturated fats increases release of female hormones. Keeping these hormones at a healthy level is important through all stages of life.

For more information on Children and their Cancer Risks, visit the Center for Disease Control webpage.

SML TIP:  Keeping a healthy, balanced lifestyle is the best protection against cancer and other diseases.

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