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Are childhood cancers caused by lifestyle?

SUNDAY MAGAZINE
By Judith Mukiri Mwobobia | May 26th 2019

While adult cancers are brought on by lifestyle related causes, it isn’t the case for childhood cancers.Children are not born with cancer.

However, Dr William Macharia, a leading Nairobi based paeditrician oncologist explains that something could go wrong during cell division and multiplication (cell replication) after conception.

Referred to as a genetic accident, it becomes like a time bomb and can be triggered by anything in future resulting in a cancer. “It’s like a landmine,” he says.

“You don’t even know it exists until someone steps on it and it explodes.”
A trigger could be a viral infection or anything affecting the child’s health.

The peak age for childhood cancers is between three and seven years, says. This is not enough time for anything from the environment to cause cancer seeing as it takes about 20 to 30 years to develop cancer.

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