If higher cell turnover predicts increased cancer risk, why do children get cancer relatively rarely?

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If higher cell turnover predicts increased cancer risk, why do children get cancer relatively rarely?

In: Biology

Higher cell turnover contributes to cancer risk because the more times you have to copy the DNA, the more errors will stack up. Children haven’t had the time for all of those errors to accumulate because of how young they are

Not an expert but throwing this information into the mix…the other half of cell turnover is specialization of the cells to perform a function. If you’re growing and the new cells mature into functional cells, that’s good. If you’re creating cells at a high rate and they don’t mature into specialized cells, then they are clogging up the system and using up resources like energy. This is a scenario associated with cancer. They are called undifferentiated cells. Again, just filling in a piece that I know from patho. Not a doctor.

Two aspects:

– children tend to have a good immune system that is able to detect defective cells quickly and destroy them

– their cells are younger and have not gone through as many cell divisions as an adults cells. Each division comes with a certain chance of mutations so the older the individual the higher the chances of cancer