Cancer Risk in Children with Birth Defects

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CANCER RISK IN CHILDREN WITH BIRTH DEFECTS 1

CancerRisk in Children with Birth Defects

CancerRisk in Children with Birth Defects

BackgroundInformation

The study of specific attributes of tumors found in kids points tothe possibility that a large number can be linked to the chromosomalmutation. In spite of the fact that studies of the likelihood todevelop cancer in children are limited, congenital abnormalities canprovide critical information in establishing the link amongstcongenital disabilities and cancer in children. There is proof thathas been found to validate the enhanced likelihood of canceroccurrence in children with genetic abnormalities such as ataxiatelangiectasia, Bloom syndrome, Down syndrome (DS or DNS),Klinefelter syndrome, neurofibromatosis (NF), and tuberous sclerosiscomplex (Von Behren, Fisher,Carmichael, Shaw, Reynolds, 2017).

The first known study of this phenomenon was recorded in Norwaybetween 1967 and 1979. The study was based on 42 cancer cases, andthe conclusion was that there was significantly increased cancer rateamong children with genetic irregularities in comparison to the restof the people. Another study of 20,000 children with tumors inBritain showed a similarly increased cancer risk among these patientsin comparison to the general population (VonBehren et al., 2017).

Exposure and outcome are very rare thus limiting the recordedevidence of the association to a limited number of instances inclinical contexts. Additionally, the existing studies do not addressthe history of cancer as a result of nature in kids with congenitaldisabilities, the degree of risk at various ages, and the trend offull recovery in children with both cancer and congenitaldisabilities.

Methodology

The addressed study used a person-year strategy whereby there was acomparison of the presence of cancer between two enormous groups ofkids (children with congenital abnormalities and those with nocongenital abnormalities). A birth defect or a congenital abnormalityrefers to an abnormality present at birth as a result of genetic orenvironmental problems, which can be structural or functional and mayresult in either a physical or mental impairment.

The data in the study was from several sources, for example, birthand death certificates, hospital admission for kids aged less than ayear. Children with birth defects were selected based on thefollowing measures: a child born between 1979 and 1986, and the childwas diagnosed with a congenital disability as stipulated in theInternational Classification of Diseases. All the participantssubmitted a yearly observational data for close to 17 years frombirth to death or cancer diagnosis. Cancer occurrence rate wasestablished for both groups at various ages and at the conclusion ofthe study. The relationship amongst a child and the presence ofcancer was approximated using the cumulative rate ratios and theiraccompanying 0.95 confidence level (Ward,DeSantis, Robbins, Kohler &amp Jemal, 2014).

Statistics

The study involved a sum of 45,200 kids with congenital abnormalitiesand a similar number of children without birth defects. Children withcongenital abnormalities have a higher likelihood to be male incomparison to those with no congenital abnormalities and had ashorter period between conception and birth. More than 21% of thekids with congenital abnormalities were born after less than 38 weeksgestation period, compared to 9.4% for the children with nocongenital abnormalities. More than 10% of kids who had birth defectsalso had less than normal birth weight while only 1.4% of kids withno birth defects had less than normal birth weight. Table 1 shows thestatistics established from the study (Dawson,Charles, Bower, de Klerk &amp Milne, 2015).

Table1

StatisticalValues for Birth Characteristics

Major characteristics

Children with congenital abnormalities

Children without congenital abnormalities

No.

%

No.

%

Gender

Male

25,803

57.1

23,084

51.1

Female

19,397

42.9

22,116

48.9

Gestation period in weeks

≤ 37

9,629

21.3

4,259

9.4

38 – 40

27,669

61.2

31,347

69.4

≥ 41

7,902

17.5

9,594

21.2

Birth weight in grams

≤ 1500

2,769

6.1

239

0.5

1501 – 2000

1,839

4.1

391

0.9

2001 – 2500

3,187

7.1

1,528

3.4

2501 – 3000

7,353

16.3

6,784

15.0

3000 – 3500

14,610

32.4

16,875

37.3

3501 – 4000

11,138

24.7

14,217

31.5

&gt 4000

4,253

9.4

5,159

11.4

Table 2 showsstatistics on sex and age distribution at cancer detection for thetwo groups. It is evident that the average age at the instance whencancer is detected in kids with no congenital abnormalities isgreater than that in kids with congenital abnormalities.

Table2

Ageand Gender Dispersion of Cancer Occurrences

Group

Age at cancer detection

Male

Female

No.

%

No.

%

With birth defect

&lt 1

21

26.2

12

20.3

1-4

30

37.5

15

25.4

≥ 5

29

36.3

32

54.2

Total

80

57.6

59

42.4

Without birth defect

&lt 1

2

5.4

4

11.1

1-4

16

43.2

11

30.6

≥ 5

19

51.4

21

58.3

Total

37

50.7

36

49.3

Facts

Althoughseveral studies indicate that there is an increase in risk for cancerin children suffering from certain kinds of birth defects compared tokids without congenital abnormalities, the general risk for a childwith congenital abnormalities to develop cancer is quite low (Dawsonet al., 2015). Additionally, studies have shown that canceroccurrences are highest within the first five years of a child’slife. Thus studies should consider age in their research. A majorityof researchers have identified DS as having up to 14 times morelikelihood to develop cancer compared to other birth defects (Wardet al., 2014). These already established facts should be usedin research on the factors that contribute to the increase in cancerrisk.

Summary

Evidently,there is a substantial increase in the risk for cancer in particularbirth defects while many other birth defects the growth in risk wasinsubstantial. Thus, concentrating on the overall risk approximationswill result in an inaccurate finding which may unnecessarily frightenfamilies with children with birth defects. An in-depth analysis ofgenes is crucial to identify any common cancer susceptibilitycontext. The focus on what is relevant may contribute to thediscovery of new preconditions that will enlighten the world on theinception and development of cancer among children.

Conclusion

The conclusiondrawn from this research and several others is that the mutation ofgenes, characteristic in children with birth defects, may result inboth cancer and an anomaly in the child. The study of suchrelationships may enable the determination of the underlying geneticchanges associated with cancer. If a particular birth irregularitycan be linked to cancer in children, then it may be possible toidentify children who will likely have cancer. Unfortunately, cancerin children is relatively rare, and the study of the relationshipbetween specific cancer types and specific birth defects ischallenging. Additionally, environmental conditions have a role inthe development of cancer thus making the study even more difficult.Regardless, birth defects have a significant role in the occurrenceof cancer among children.

References

Dawson, S., Charles, A. K., Bower,C., de Klerk, N. H., &amp Milne, E. (2015). Risk of cancer amongchildren with birth defects: a novel approach.&nbspBirthDefects Research Part A: Clinical and Molecular Teratology,&nbsp103(4),284-291.

Von Behren, J., Fisher, P. G.,Carmichael, S. L., Shaw, G. M., &amp Reynolds, P. (2017). AnInvestigation of Connections between Birth Defects and CancersArising in Adolescence and Very Young Adulthood.&nbspTheJournal of Pediatrics.

Ward, E., DeSantis, C., Robbins,A., Kohler, B., &amp Jemal, A. (2014). Childhood and adolescentcancer statistics, 2014.&nbspCA:a cancer journal for clinicians,&nbsp64(2),83-103.