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What is to be blamed for childhood cancer?

IANS  |  Sydney 

A team of researchers has thrown light on the community beliefs about what causes in children, an area which remains understudied, finds a latest research.

"are attributed to genetics or environmental factors, so when children are diagnosed with cancer, families often wonder 'why me/why us'?" said Janine Vetsch, postdoctoral research candidate from UNSW Sydney in

For the study, the team examined the beliefs of more than 600 participants -- parents and childhood survivors -- about the causes of childhood cancer, and compared them with beliefs of 510 members of the general population.

Findings, published in Acta Oncologica, revealed that more than seven out of 10 childhood survivors and survivors' parents believed that chance or bad luck caused the cancer.

This led to most parents and survivors seem to understand that there is nothing they could have done to prevent the cancer, according to Vetsch.

However, around one in five families did believe that environmental factors and genetics played a role, despite only limited available scientific evidence, results further showed.

"It looks like are successfully helping most families arrive at that view," said Vetsch.

Such views could lead to stigma. Hence, it is important to increase community knowledge of causes in general.

There is a need to encourage doctors to talk about the causes with affected families to address unhelpful misconceptions," Vetsch suggested.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, January 13 2019. 20:32 IST