Can Childhood Cancers Be Prevented?
Unlike many cancers of adults, lifestyle-related risk factors (such as smoking) don't influence a child’s risk of getting cancer. A few environmental factors, such as radiation exposure, have been linked with childhood cancer risk. But, in many cases exposure to radiation might be unavoidable, such as if the child needs radiation therapy to treat another cancer. If your child does develop cancer, it is important to know that it is extremely unlikely there is anything you or your child could have done to prevent it.
Very rarely, a child might inherit gene changes that make them very likely to get a certain kind of cancer. In such cases, doctors may sometimes recommend preventive surgery to remove an organ before cancer has a chance to develop there. Again, this is very rare.
Last Medical Review: August 22, 2016 Last Revised: August 22, 2016
- What Are the Differences Between Cancers in Adults and Children?
- Key Statistics for Childhood Cancer
- Cancers that Develop in Children
- Risk Factors and Causes of Childhood Cancer
- Can Childhood Cancers Be Prevented?
- Finding Cancer in Children
- Treating Children with Cancer
- Late and Long-term effects of Cancer Treatment on Children
- References: Cancer in Children
- If Your Child Has Cancer