Most modern-day parents are almost obsessed with keeping their babies as clean as possible. They always carry antiseptic wipes with them and obsessively clean their homes. Overall, they are a bit too careful about what their little one touches. It’s normal to pay extra attention to those things, but a new study claims that this obsession to protect babies from everything around them might be the main cause for childhood acute leukemia. According to the study, which the journal Nature Reviews Cancer recently published, this is the most common form of childhood cancer.
According to Professor Mel Greaves, who is the leader of the study and who conducted research for it for over 30 years, it seems that cancer is often caused by a lack of childhood infection. Also, by a combination of genetic mutations. Thankfully, this can be prevented, says Greaves. Parents should make sure that their babies have social contact with others. Especially while they are under the age of one. Nowadays, lymphoblastic leukemia affects one in 2,000 children worldwide. Back in the ’50s and ‘60s, it was completely lethal. Thankfully, now, about 90% of children survive thanks to treatment.
Lack of infection causes childhood leukemia
According to Greaves, one in 20 kids is born with a risky genetic mutation. This makes them vulnerable to leukemia. However, they will not get sick if their parents have set up their immune system correctly. This is where the tricky part happens. In order for that to occur, children must encounter benign bacteria and viruses within their first year of life.
Those with not well developed immune systems will become more vulnerable to leukemia when they’ll first encounter an infection like the flu, later in life. Moreover, it seems that the story is also similar in the case of Hodgkin’s lymphoma, multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes and allergies.
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