Cancer Prevention During Early Life
CDC’s Division of Cancer Prevention and Control sponsored a special issue in the journal Pediatrics about factors from before birth through early childhood that may affect a person’s chance of getting cancer. The authors of papers in this issue are experts from many different professions, showing the importance of working together to address potential cancer causes and risk factors.
Cancer is caused by a combination of factors over time. One of the papers provides highlights from meetings with nationally recognized experts about possible opportunities for cancer prevention early in life. Research suggests that we can take steps today to protect the health of babies and young children, and reduce their chances of getting cancer in the future.
Encouraging Behaviors That May Lower Cancer Risk
- Getting enough folic acid during pregnancy.
- Getting enough physical activity during childhood.
- Ensuring safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments for all children and families.
Reducing Harmful Exposures
- Avoiding alcohol and tobacco use during pregnancy.
- Keeping children away from secondhand smoke.
- Reducing exposure to traffic-related air pollution.
- Avoiding exposure to chemicals that can cause cancer.
- Limiting the amount of radiation used during certain medical tests, like CT (computed tomography) scans.
- Learning about your family’s history of exposure to diethylstilbestrol (DES).
Articles in Supplement
- White MC, Holman DM, Massetti GM. Forward: Cancer prevention can start early and last a lifetime. Pediatrics 2016;138(S1):S1–S2.
- Holman DM, Buchanan N, on behalf of the Cancer Prevention During Early Life Expert Group. Opportunities during early life for cancer prevention: highlights from a series of virtual meetings with experts. Pediatrics 2016;138(S1):S3–S14.
- Guy GP, Jr., Berkowitz Z, Ekwueme DU, Rim SH, Yabroff KR. Annual economic burden of productivity losses among adult survivors of childhood cancers. Pediatrics 2016;138(S1):S15–S21.
- Schooling CM, Houghton L, Terry MB. Potential intervention targets in utero and early life for prevention of hormone-related cancers. Pediatrics 2016;138(S1):S22–S33.
- Michels KB, Cohn BA, Goldberg M, Flom JD, Dougan M, Terry MB. Maternal anthropometry and mammographic density in adult daughters. Pediatrics 2016;138(S1):S34–S41.
- Troisi R, Hatch EE, Titus L. The diethylstilbestrol legacy: a powerful case against intervention in uncomplicated pregnancy. Pediatrics 2016;138(S1):S42–S44.
- Metayer C, Dahl G, Wiemels J, Miller M. Childhood leukemia: a preventable disease. Pediatrics 2016;138(S1):S45–S55.
- Kriebel D, Hoppin PJ, Jacobs MM, Clapp RW. Environmental and economic strategies for primary prevention of cancer in early life. Pediatrics 2016;138(S1):S56–S64.
- Massetti GM, Thomas CC, Ragan KR. Disparities in the context of opportunities for cancer prevention in early life. Pediatrics 2016;138(S1):S65–S77.
- Terry MB, Bradbury A. Family-based breast cancer prevention efforts in adolescence. Pediatrics 2016;138(S1):S78–S80.
- Holman DM, Ports KA, Buchanan ND, Hawkins NA, Merrick MT, Metzler M, Trivers KF. The association between adverse childhood experiences and risk for cancer in adulthood: a systematic review of the literature. Pediatrics 2016;138(S1):S81–S91.
- Terry MB, Forman MR. Empowering pediatricians to prevent chronic disease across generations. Pediatrics 2016;138(S1):S92–S94.
- White MC, Peipins LA, Holman DM. Labeling cancer risk factors as lifestyle limits prevention activities across the life span. Pediatrics 2016;138(S1)S93–S97.
- Bearer CF, Goldman L. Concluding commentary: children in all cancer prevention policy decisions. Pediatrics 2016;138(S1):S98–S103.