Document Detail

Exposure to chemicals and radiation during childhood and risk for cancer later in life.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23601608     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Data-Review    
PURPOSE: Many chemical carcinogens are in food, water, air, household products, and personal care products. Although genetic susceptibility is an important factor in how an individual responds to exposure to a carcinogen, heritable genetic factors alone account for only a minor portion of cancer rates.
METHODS: We review the evidence that early life exposure to carcinogenic chemicals and ionizing radiation results in elevations in cancer later in life.
RESULTS: Because cells are rapidly dividing and organ systems are developing during childhood and adolescence, exposure to carcinogens during these early life stages is a major risk factor for cancer later in life. Because young people have many expected years of life, the clinical manifestations of cancers caused by carcinogens have more time in which to develop during characteristically long latency periods. Many chemical carcinogens persist in the body for decades and increase risk for all types of cancers. Carcinogens may act via mutagenic, nonmutagenic, or epigenetic mechanisms and may also result from disruption of endocrine systems. The problem is magnified by the fact that many chemical carcinogens have become an integral part of our food and water supply and are in air and the general environment.
CONCLUSIONS: The early life onset of a lifelong exposure to mixtures of multiple environmental chemical carcinogens and radiation contributes significantly to the etiology of cancer in later life.
David O Carpenter; Sheila Bushkin-Bedient
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Journal of adolescent health : official publication of the Society for Adolescent Medicine     Volume:  52     ISSN:  1879-1972     ISO Abbreviation:  J Adolesc Health     Publication Date:  2013 May 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2013-04-22     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9102136     Medline TA:  J Adolesc Health     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  S21-9     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2013 Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Institute for Health and the Environment, University at Albany, Rensselaer, New York; Department of Environmental Health Sciences, University at Albany, Rensselaer, New York. Electronic address:
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