Last updated 3 months ago
Most people tend to associate cancer with lifestyle factors that contribute to a higher cancer risk later on in life. In the case of childhood cancers, however, the causes seem to be related to inherited genetic defects and early genetic mutations that take place in cell divisions that occur during fetal development or the first few years of life. Understanding the seemingly random pattern behind the development of childhood cancers can be helpful for parents and families, because cancer diagnoses are often accompanied by feelings of guilt. This article will take a closer look at the risks and causes of childhood cancer so that you are able to better understand your child’s disease and face the treatment process.
Sometimes, childhood cancers may be caused by inherited genetic mutations from one or both parents. In some cases, parents may not even be aware of the DNA changes they are passing on to their children, because they are only identifiable through genetic testing. Still, it is important to remember that inherited genetic abnormalities only account for a small handful of childhood cancers. It is much more likely that the DNA changes are random and take place before the child is even born.
Acquired Genetic Mutation
When DNA mutations are not inherited, they are called acquired mutations, and they tend to happen very early in a child’s life, maybe even in gestation. During this period, cells are dividing at a rapid rate, and errors may occur, causing genetic mutation. From the point of mutation onward, all cells that come from that mutated cell will have changes to its DNA. Unfortunately, the likelihood for acquired mutations is very unpredictable.
Research has been conducted to explore environmental causes for childhood cancer, but these seem to be rarely, if at all, involved in the risk. Radiation exposure is the most commonly linked environmental factor with childhood cancers, though most of these cancers still appear to have no outside causes.
Sunrise Children’s Hospital can offer hope following a diagnosis of childhood cancer with the only dedicated pediatric oncology unit in the state of Nevada. You can explore our oncology services on our website or reach us through our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (702) 731-5437.
Last updated 4 months ago
When you are expecting a bundle of joy during the holiday season, you may find that your normal busy holiday routine can be too much to handle both physically and mentally. Pregnancy can cause you to feel tired, sore, and drained, so you might plan your holidays a little differently this year to avoid putting extra stress on yourself and your baby. Below you will see some tips for staying healthy while still enjoying the holidays.
Stay Close to Home
Traveling can be particularly hard on expecting moms who are still experiencing morning sickness or are in the last trimester of pregnancy, so you might consider staying home even if you usually travel. If you do enjoy getting away for the holidays, you might consider picking a destination closer to home in later months of your pregnancy so that you can travel comfortably in the car.
Be a Stickler about Food Safety
Pregnancy can put you at an increased risk for food poisoning, which is prevalent around the holidays as large meals are prepared and cross-contamination is more likely. To play it safe, you should always wash your hands before eating and after handling raw food. You might also ask questions about how foods like cookies, Caesar salad dressing, mayonnaise, and egg nog were made to be sure that you don’t ingest raw eggs or alcohol.
Keep Your To-Do List Limited
Between decorating, shopping, and holiday cooking, you may have a high-stress routine for the holiday season. It may be helpful to cut down your typical holiday to-do list with help from friends and family so that you have time to breathe and de-stress.
Limit Sugar Intake
When you attend a holiday party and you are not enjoying the alcoholic refreshments, it can be easy to spend too much time at the dessert table filling up on holiday treats. You can limit the temptation and keep your sugar intake more moderate by eating a high-protein meal before any holiday event so that you stay full and have energy to get through the evening.
For the personalized, detailed prenatal care and ideal delivery setting you will want during your pregnancy, choose Sunrise Children’s Hospital for your labor and delivery. You can schedule a tour of our maternity department by calling our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (702) 731-5437.
Last updated 4 months ago
There has been a general trend toward minimizing smoking and secondhand smoke with initiatives to limit public areas where tobacco use is permitted, but smoking still continues to take all too many lives every year. As this video explains, there have been 20,000,000 deaths since the surgeon general first explained the dangers of smoking in 1964. This means that almost everyone has a friend, family member, or loved one who has died because of tobacco use. On average, tobacco takes the lives of 400,000 people every year, but this can end with an even bigger push against cigarette smoking from all individuals.
Sunrise Children’s Hospital encourages Las Vegas area residents to kick the habit of smoking this November during the Great American Smokeout for the health of the youngest, most vulnerable members of our community. You can visit us online or call (702) 731-5437 to learn about some of the ways that you can quit once and for all.
Last updated 4 months ago
If you are a smoker, you might think that the danger of smoking is only to yourself. However, secondhand smoke can pose just as many health risks to those around you—especially the youngest members of your family. Children are more susceptible to immediate respiratory problems associated with cigarette smoking such as asthma and chronic upper respiratory infections. Tooth decay, pneumonia, and ear infections may also be the result of secondhand smoke exposure. Even before babies are born they may be at risk for health problems from secondhand smoke, so it is best for parents and close family members to quit smoking as soon as possible. You might also avoid bringing children to areas where smoking is allowed, since others may smoke around your kids without considering the danger. Statistically, children of smokers miss more school days and have a higher risk of long-term health complications than children of parents who do not smoke.
To quit smoking for good and improve the health of the kids in your life, consider participating in the Great American Smokeout this November. You can find resources that will help you make quitting a lasting effort by visiting Sunrise Children’s Hospital or calling us at (702) 731-5437.
Last updated 4 months ago
Sodium is hiding in a number of different foods, and it can be harmful if it is consumed in large quantities. Children who eat too much sodium are at risk for higher blood pressure later in life, and they may already have elevated blood pressure during adolescence.
This video offers some helpful tips on identifying high-sodium foods and cooking with lower amounts of salt. Using herbs and citrus fruit can flavor foods without the added salt, but there is no way to control the salt quantity in prepackaged foods, which are typically very high in salt.
If you are looking for ways to improve your child’s health, Sunrise Children’s Hospital offers several classes for the community and provides health tips through our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line. You can reach us at (702) 731-5437 to speak with a registered nurse 24/7.