Obesity and Childhood Cancer.

Jennifer a pediatric nurse dedicated to raising awareness for all types of cancer published a small note in The oncology nursing news about the increased risk of developing obesity-related cancer in overweight or obese adults who are childhood cancer survivors.

She explains that higher amounts of body fat cause chronic inflammation in the body, this inflammation can damage our DNA increasing the risk of developing obesity-related cancer. At highest risk of obesity are childhood cancer survivors of ALL (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia) or those who received radiation, more specifically the brain, and total body irradiation (TBI).

Survivors who get cranial radiation and also receive glucocorticoids have an increased risk for obesity.

Raising awareness of the importance of proper nutrition and exercise should begin as early as possible to avoid or at least control the obesity as a survivor.

Here are some tips that can help your child eat well, taken from the guide for parents of children with cancer from the National Cancer Institute:

  • Talk with a registered dietitian.
  • Learn what types of foods and drinks are best for your child.
  • Some children may be advised to get extra protein and calories.
  • Encourage small, frequent meals.
  • Check before giving vitamins or other supplements.
  • Take special care with food to lower the risk of infection.
  • There are some foods that can help reduce side effects.
  • Call about changes.
  • Ask about activities that may be recommended to your child.

For more information about the relationship between obesity and childhood cancer click on this link.