Leukemia is a cancer that most often affects the white blood cells in a child’s body, but can also affect other types of blood cells. Childhood leukemia accounts for around a quarter of all cases of childhood cancer in the United States.
Medical researchers are not entirely sure why it occurs, but are constantly studying this cancer of the blood to determine its causes. Here are two interesting factors that may contribute to the occurrence of childhood leukemia.
1. A C-Section May Increase Leukemia Risk
Some studies have suggested a possible link between acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) and a prelabor Cesarean section. Pre Labor C-sections are typically elective and occur before labor begins.
Babies delivered through an elective C-section were found to have a higher incidence of early-onset ALL than babies born vaginally or through an emergency C-section. Researchers are still not sure why elective C-Sections are positively correlated with childhood leukemia.
Differences in the colonization of microbiotic life between types of birth may also account for the connection. Children born through emergency C-sections are still usually exposed to microbiotic flora from the mother as in a vaginal birth, while those born from an elective C-section are not.
2. Proximity to Oil and Gas Development Can Increase Risk
A recent study in Colorado found that children in that state diagnosed with ALL are more likely to live in areas of high-density oil and gas development when compared to other children in the state diagnosed with cancer.
The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, showed children and young adults between the ages of 5 and 24 with childhood leukemia were 4.3 times more likely to live in the densest areas of active oil and gas wells than children with other types of cancer.