The Importance of Public Health Intervention Programs in Childhood Cancer Prevention
Author(s): Nnennaya U Opara, Emmanuel U Opara
A childhood cancer diagnosis can be devastating for both children and their parents; however, most cancers can be prevented early in life. The pediatric cancer rate in the USA among children under 20 years of age increased by 34% between 1975 and 2017. Experts in oncology have suggested several behaviors that may lower the risk of cancer in children, such as monitoring folic acid during pregnancy, physical activity, breast-feeding, and maintaining a healthy environment. Exposure to certain harmful substances could predispose children to cancer. Exposure can include a mother’s alcohol and tobacco use during pregnancy, air pollution, exposure to diethylstilbestrol (DES) in utero, CT scans or X-rays, and secondhand smoke, among other chemical substances. In this commentary article, we aim to evaluate the efficacy of the STAR Act program in reducing the pediatric cancer rate in Washington, DC.