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Scientists are studying the connection between the Holocaust and cancer: former prisoners more likely to suffer from cancer

Former prisoners of the Nazi death camps suffer more often from cancer and their chance of getting cancer is significantly higher than other groups.

This is evidenced by the results of research conducted by members of tel Aviv University, writes on 10 July, news Agency RIA Novosti with reference to be published by the scientific journal Cancer.

«Such research we can’t do in practice, and therefore we have to study the results of projects for monitoring health. Our results emphasize the importance of studying the combination of several adverse factors coinciding in time, may influence the likelihood of developing cancer – including the tragic events that took place during the Second world war» – leads the publication the words of Dr. Sigal Sadetzki, head of a group of Israeli researchers.

Recall that during the Second world war to death camps and firing ranges were killed over six million Jews, and some occupied territories such as Estonia, have been completely «cleansed» of persons of Jewish nationality in the framework of the «final solution of the Jewish question.

According to historians, the Holocaust has gone through about a million Jews – one-seventh of the Jewish population of Europe in the prewar years. Today, their number, according to statistics of the Elie Wiesel Center at Boston University, is about 100,000.

Sadetzki and her colleagues used statistics to evaluate how the inhuman treatment by the Nazis, enduring hardship and experiments in the concentration camps affected the life expectancy of former prisoners and the likelihood that they have cancer.

Israeli doctors have analysed the fate of the more than 150,000 victims of the Holocaust, part of which was officially recognized prisoners of the Nazi regime by the German government and others are not.

As this study shows, stay in the camp increased the likelihood of developing cancer and deaths from it – more than 22% of the prisoners died from the disease. At the same time, among people who have suffered less deprivation during the Holocaust, this figure was much lower – about 16%.

The likelihood of developing cancer for the prisoners of concentration camps were higher by 6%, and lung cancer and cancer rectal and colon they bolele 37% and 12% more respectively. The chance of getting other cancers such as cancer of the breast or genitals, almost no different for recognized and unrecognized victims of the Holocaust.

These data should be taken into account when assessing the consequences of the Holocaust and other historical events of this kind and the results of domestic violence, conclude the authors.

Previously the issue was handled Nani vine Raviv and colleagues at the University of Haifa in Israel, who studied the incidence of and mortality from cancer among the 4 million Israelis of European origin and compared the data of those who emigrated from Europe before 1939 with those who arrived in Israel after the war in 1945.

Haifa doctors have established that it is the age in which people survived the Holocaust. Michael Dune, specialist National Israeli cancer registry, also participated in the study, said: «the girls who during the war was less than 10 years are twice as likely to develop breast cancer than those who at the time were adults,» he said in an interview with New Scientist.

Dune believes that the legacy of cancer caused by malnutrition and close to starvation, although the biological mechanisms of this interaction are still unclear. «Many people are surviving on 300-600 calories a day, and this may affect growth and normal hormonal metabolism that could have some impact on the level of cancer,» he says.

In previous studies made assumptions that poor nutrition during the formation of the fetus in the mother’s body can affect the health of the child in the future, however, it is unclear whether a poor diet to have the same effect on older children.

His colleague, Clive Osmond, an expert on embryonic roots of adult diseases at the University of Southampton, United Kingdom, believes that elevated levels of cancer can be the result of lack the body’s reaction to biological stressors. «The mechanism of the stress response is formed in early childhood and can be affected by the absence of power,» he says.

One of the reasons for the higher mortality rate among former prisoners may lie in the fact that many survivors diagnosed too late, so that the level of recovery is lower, he said. «Maybe they were living in so much pain that they just can’t come to terms with the possibility that they may have cancer.»

Scientists are studying the connection between the Holocaust and cancer: former prisoners more likely to suffer from cancer

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