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Cesarean Birth & Childhood Cancer Risk: Is There a link?

Cesarean birth seems to be associated with increased risk of cancer during childhood, especially lymphoma and sarcoma, according to a study published online March 17 in Acta Paediatrica.

The study reported by the University of Montreal, and colleagues examined the association between cesarean birth and age-specific risks of childhood cancer in a cohort of 1,034,049 children followed between 2006 to 2020, from birth until age 14 years.

The researchers found that cesarean was associated with increased risk of any cancer (hazard ratio, 1.16; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.04 to 1.30), hematopoietic cancer (hazard ratio, 1.12; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.92 to 1.36), and solid tumors (hazard ratio, 1.21; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.06 to 1.39), compared with spontaneous vaginal birth. The associations strengthened at age 2 years, and were highest for lymphoma and sarcoma. Operative vaginal birth was not significantly associated with the risk of cancer.

Treating Childhood Cancer

Children’s cancers are not always treated like adult cancers. Pediatric oncology is a medical specialty focused on the care of children with cancer. It’s important to know that this expertise exists and that there are effective treatments for many childhood cancers.

Caesarean birth ( may be associated with selected childhood cancers, including lymphoma and sarcoma early in childhood. The underlying reasons for the association is not yet clear & requires further investigation, including whether mucosal dysbiosis or labour hormone exposure explain the excess risk.

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