A new landmark study suggests that a squeaky-clean home can up children’s risk of developing childhood leukemia by a significant amount. Researchers believe that children can develop the potentially deadly disease when they are not exposed to enough germs to build a healthy immune system.
- Without proper immunity, viruses can prompt the immune system to produce white blood cells in excess which leads to leukemia.
- This scenario can happen when the child catches the flu.
Professor Mel Greaves noted that modern societies tend to put a strong emphasis on households’ cleanliness, but that can cost children dearly.
The latest study involved 30 years’ worth of research into the possible causes of this type of cancer. Study authors think that Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) could be prevented, especially in kids.
The condition could be prevented by breastfeeding children, encouraging them to play outdoors, refraining from overdoing it when cleaning the home, and sending kids to a day nursery where they are exposed to germs from their peers.
Childhood Leukemia Could Be Prevented
Professor Mel Greaves insists that ALL is based on biological factors and can be triggered by infections in kids that already have compromised immune systems.
The most important implication is that most cases of childhood leukemia are likely to be preventable,
Researchers are confident that the condition could be prevented just like other autoimmune conditions such as allergies. Children should be exposed more to harmless germs to build a strong immune system since early childhood.
The newest study is the most comprehensive study focusing on ALL, which is the most common blood cancer in small children. In the U.S., 3,000 kids and teens are diagnosed with the condition every year. ALL accounts for 20% of all types of cancers in kids and teens, according to a CDC report.
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