Link between cancer and abuse - Macleans.ca
 

Link between cancer and abuse

Study finds that child abuse elevates cancer risk in adults


 

A stunning discovery by University of Toronto researchers indicates a profound link between cancer and child abuse. Adults who were physically abused as children have a 49 per cent higher chance of developing cancer, shows their study, which will be published in the July 15 issue of the journal Cancer. This was true even after the team controlled for variables such as childhood stress, adult smoking, drinking, exercise and socioeconomic status. The research is especially important to helping doctors identify risk factors for cancer in their patients. There may be psycho-physiological reasons why this happens. Future studies will examine how the production of cortisol, the stress hormone, affects the cancer-abuse connection.

ScienceDaily


 
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Link between cancer and abuse

  1. What blather, you can find a statistical link between any two things you want if you try hard enough, or want to see a connection badly enough. As they say, there are lies, damn lies and then there are statistics. For the above nonsense to have any credibility you would have to show, in a verifiable and repeatable scientific experiment, the mechanism of how abuse causes cancer. Since we have never been able to show how "hurt fellings" causes cancer, this so called study is useless. If it were true, everyone who has been abused should contract cancer. Obviously, this is not the case. This is as crazy as the "proofs" for ESP, deja vous, and other fairy tales. God, people are so gullible. P.T. Barnum was right.

    • "you would have to show, in a verifiable and repeatable scientific experiment, the mechanism of how abuse causes cancer"
      – only a link is suggested, not a cause

      "Since we have never been able to show how "hurt fellings" causes cancer, this so called study is useless"
      -why does a failure to demonstrate a connection in the past render this attempt useless? And I'm sure those who have suffered child abuse thank you for dismissing their horrors as "hurt feelings".

      "If it were true, everyone who has been abused should contract cancer"
      -not everyone who smokes contracts cancer. It's a combination of environment, lifestyle and genetics that can sometimes predict the rates of cancer in large populations. Such indicators never apply with absolute certainty to any individual.

    • Your cynicism seems more like closemindedness than scientific doubt. However, you do have a good point: to prove abuse causes cancer, research would have to show – verifiably and repeatably – cancer can be induced in a controlled setting by quantified application of abuse. Because this would be unethical, an experiment-based approach must be traded in, for statistical analyses of information that society is already generating on its own. Identifying information and scientifically calculating probabilities, is not the same as generating statistics like in political work, where deliberate bias is used for shaping public opinion. This other research, the scientific kind, is "peer-reviewed" to prevent bias from skewing the perceived results. Of course you are welcome to believe it's all a conspiracy if you want. But at some point I just have to decide that somewhere on the planet, some scientist might actually be trying to find out the truth about something. Not for money. Because they want to know. Really.

  2. "This is as crazy as the "proofs" for ESP, deja vous, and other fairy tales"
    -granted, sometimes much is made medical studies done with pathetically small samples, but the article linked here doesn't tell us enough to know one way or another. But did you notice the reference to the potential role of the stress hormone? They aren't claiming some nebulous cause from child abuse, they are honing in a direct physiological change spurred on by trauma in childhood.

    "people are so gullible"
    -I'm not saying this line of inquiry will necessarily pan out, but what do you think the first reaction was for many when it was suggested that smoking or asbestos were contributing to cancer?

    • "you can find a statistical link between any two things you want if you try hard enough"
      -usually said by folks who have no experience in statistics. Certainly not true for studies published in refereed journals.

  3. cortisol levels peak normally in pre-dawn hours after a night of sleep. cortisol is supportive of immune function including killer cells that destroy emerging cancer cells. shift workers and people with sleep interruption insomnia do not have normal cortisol levels AND a statistically significant increase in rates of cancer and rates of dying of cancer. Isn't it Possible that some people who have suffered abuse in childhood, May have sleep problems in adulthood which contribute to cortisol production issues? could this point to a link between child abuse and later cancer in adulthood? the research does not say "child abuse causes cancer" – it says that 49% higher rate shown in This study after controlling for obvious confounders. It could be little green men. They want more studies. More Research = More Evidence = Better Understanding of All Kinds of Health-Related Psychological Physiological Neurological etc. Phenomena. You not agreeing with the research is not a reason to stop doing research.