A comprehensive study has found that too much cleanliness in a household can boost the risk of childhood leukemia in the children living there. Researchers are confident that acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) could be prevented if parents don’t over do it when it comes to keeping the home clean.
The new research revealed that ALL is triggered by a genetic mutation when the kid is affected by a viral infection like the flu. Because the immune system is not working properly, the body produces too many white blood cells, which triggers the condition.
So, children need to be exposed to germs in their first year of lives.
Childhood leukemia affects one in 2,000 kids each year. In developed nations, ALL rates have been on the rise by 1% annually. Past studies have shown that the condition is caused by genetic mutations, but the latest study shows how this type of blood cancer really forms.
Childhood Leukemia Can Be Prevented
Lead author Mel Greaves of the U.K.-based Institute of Cancer Research unveiled that he has been studying childhood leukemia for over four decades. He noted that in recent years, research has been able to help us better understand the disease and offered a cure for 90% of cases.
Dr. Greaves believes that the latest study fills a big gap in the knowledge around ALL. It tries to unveil why some children develop ALL while others seem immune to it. The study also shows that this type of blood cancer is preventable.
Greaves’ team found that a genetic mutation occurs in the womb. So, if the child bearing the mutation is not exposed to germs in his first year of life to build a healthy immune system, he develops ALL. But that happens only after a second mutation is produced after the child’s immune system fails to properly respond to a common infection.
Image Source: MaxPixel
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