HOUSTON – There are things parents can do with their kids during childhood that can help prevent them from developing cancer in their lifetime.
Here are tips from a Texas Children’s oncologist:
- Eat healthy
- Stay safe in the sun
“These sort of measures can be really important for reducing the risk of developing cancer and other health problems,” said Dr. Surya Rednam, Texas Children’s Hospital pediatric oncologist.
What kind is best? The kind they like.
“Like walking, like sports, like dancing, any of these sorts of activities can be great ways to make sure your kids are getting good levels of activity during their childhood, and then continuing those practices into their adulthood,” Dr. Rednam said.
According to a new study from UTMB, the HPV vaccine has significantly reduced rates of anal cancer. It’s also linked to lowering rates of cervical cancer. Doctors recommend getting the HPV vaccine between 11 and 12 years old.
As a baby, your child should get the Hepatitis B vaccine, and that’s known to reduce the rates of liver cancer.
“Immunizations in general play a very important role for infection prevention and reduction of the risk that those infections can cause diseases, including cancer, from things like hepatitis B and HPV,” Dr. Rednam said. “People who’ve been immunized against Hepatitis B virus have much, much-reduced rates of developing Hepatitis B infection, and particularly, chronic Hepatitis B infections that can lead in later life to let her liver dysfunction and liver cancer.”
Talk to your children about drugs, alcohol and safe sex
Dr. Rednam said it can be helpful to consult with your pediatrician about ways to have these discussions that are age-appropriate.