Landmark study examines link between environmental toxins and cancer in children

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childhood-cancer(NaturalHealth365)  Among all disease-related causes of death, cancer ranks number one.  Of every 285 children in the United States, one will receive a cancer diagnosis before their twentieth birthday.  And every year, cancer claims the lives of one in eight children.

Kids shouldn’t spend their time concerned about chemotherapy and endless doctor’s appointments.  They should be enjoying their childhood.  To get to the bottom of why we have seen such a rise in cancer rates over the past few decades, a group of doctors has launched a landmark study that explores the link between childhood cancers and environmental causes on a website called TheReasonsWhy.Us.

Study seeks answers to how environmental toxins are linked to childhood cancer

The Oliver Foundation and Texas Children’s Hospital have come together to form a joint project that asks real families who have experienced the impact of childhood cancer to participate.  The goal is to allow these families to help better understand how environmental factors affect cancer in children.

Once participants sign up, a representative from Baylor College of Medicine, the hospital’s medical school, contacts them.  The participants are asked to complete a questionnaire that collects information on their environment from preconception through childhood, including pregnancy.  The questions look at the places the parents and children lived, worked, were schooled, and where they played up to the time that the cancer was diagnosed – and identify any chemical contaminants in those places.

The study is conducted online, which opens the door for more families to participate, even if they do not live near any of the study centers.  It allows a much larger participant base because it is not contained in any one specific geographical region.

This is beneficial on two counts.  One, it lets more families participate in the study, and two, it allows a broader area to be explored so that more states and a larger variety of environmental factors can be examined.

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Oliver’s legacy

The Oliver Foundation, one of the research bodies of the project, was founded by the parents of Oliver Strong, a 12-year-old boy who died just 36 hours after being diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia.  He had been having headaches for a week.  His parents took him to the doctor, where he was diagnosed, and in just over a day, he passed away.

His parents, Simon and Vilma Strong, believe that Oliver’s cancer could have been prevented.  He was exposed to several toxic substances, including the herbicide Roundup and harmful petrochemicals in artificial turf on athletic fields where he played soccer.

The project has become Oliver’s legacy and his parents’ passion.  Their goal is to keep other parents and children from experiencing the pain and loss that they did.

Harmful chemicals can impact children in other ways

Harmful chemicals can cause other issues in children, in addition to cancer.  Behavioral and learning challenges, chronic diseases like obesity, asthma, autoimmune disease, and developmental delays can stem from exposure to these toxic substances.  Harm to the reproductive system is also common.

By identifying the causes and finding strong links between these health harms in children and the environments they are exposed to, researchers hope to find ways to reduce the risks and even prevent them.

To sign-up and participate in the study or to learn more, visit TheReasonsWhy.Us.

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