Dr. Anthony Miller: Preventing Cancer in Children and Youths

Main Scene, Saturday Septembre 14th, 2019, 3PM

Anthony B. Miller, MD, FRCP, FRCP(C), FFPH, FACE 

Professor Emeritus, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. A physician-epidemiologist, he was trained in internal medicine, and was a member of the scientific staff of the Tuberculosis and Chest Diseases Research Unit, UK Medical Research Council, 1962-71. He was Director of the Epidemiology Unit of the National Cancer Institute of Canada 1971-86 and Chair of the Department of Preventive Medicine and Biostatistics, University of Toronto, 1992-96. He served as a special expert in the Division of Cancer Prevention, US National Cancer Institute, 1997, Senior Epidemiologist, International Agency for Research on Cancer 1998-99, Head, Division of Epidemiology, German Cancer Research Centre, Heidelberg, 2000-03, Associate Director, Research, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, 2008-10. He has been a consultant to the World Health Organization. He is Scientific Lead of the OncoSim microsimulation modelling initiative of the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer. His research encompasses cancer etiology, prevention and screening.

We know very little on how to prevent cancer in children and youths, though a number of environmental exposures (e.g. pesticides, extremely low frequency electric and magnetic fields) have been suspected of increasing the risk of childhood leukemia and lymphomas, while we have good evidence that exposure to ionising radiation (X-rays of the pelvis of the mother) of the fetus in pregnancy increases the risk of childhood leukemia. However, we do know that the lifestyles adopted by children and youths drastically influences the risk of cancer in them when they are adults. Examples include adoption of habits of healthy eating, exercise, not smoking. A relatively new example is exposure to Radiofrequency radiation (RFR) from cell phones and other devices. Prevention of RFR exposure to children and youths will, we believe, prevent brain cancer at older ages (as well as some brain cancers in youths), while adoption of healthy eating, regular exercise and giving up smoking will have a major effect on preventing cancer at older ages, providing these approaches to a healthy lifestyle are adopted relatively early in life, e.g. the dramatic effect of ceasing smoking before the age of 40.



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