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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Child Abuse & Subsequent Adult Onset Cancer

The online Science Daily has published an article indicating the higher incidence of cancer in adults who were physically abused as children. Interestingly, there appear to be some indications that "dysfunctions in cortisol production – the hormone that prepares us for 'fight or flight' [could be] a possible mediator in the abuse-cancer relationship."

The study "shows those individuals physically abused in childhood are more likely to develop cancer than those who have not been abused. Childhood physical abuse is associated with 49 per cent higher odds of cancer in adulthood, says Esme Fuller-Thomson of U of T's Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work and Department of Family and Community Medicine."

"This research provides important new knowledge about a potential childhood abuse-cancer relationship."

"The study's findings showed the association between childhood abuse and cancer remained significant even after controlling for three major potentially confounding factors: childhood stressors, adult health behaviors (i.e. smoking, physical inactivity, alcohol consumption) and adult socioeconomic status."

Read the entire article here

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