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February 1997

Pediatricians and Cancer Prevention

Author Affiliations

Unitat d'Oncologia Pediàtrica Hospital Infantil La Fe Av Campanar 21 46009 Valencia Spain

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1997;151(2):209. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1997.02170390099022

After reading Dr Yeager's editorial1 and his reply2 to Dr Donelly's contribution,3 we would like to point out some aspects of the role of pediatricians in cancer prevention.

We agree with Dr Yeager that until large and well-controlled epidemiological studies of childhood cancer allow the identification of environmental carcinogens (such as transplacental synthetic estrogen diethylstilbestrol, the causal agent of clear cell adenocarcinomas of the vagina4), the role of pediatricians in cancer prevention has to be addressed to promote strategies in children that may prevent adult cancers. Perhaps the exception is the increased risk for childhood neoplasias associated with parental occupation, ie, fathers working in heavy industry and mothers working in medical and dental services,5,6 and, as suggested in a recent and comprehensive review,7 an association of childhood leukemias with the vicinity of electrical power lines to the residential areas.7

Promotion of healthy behaviors