A new study by University of Toronto researchers has revealed that childhood physical abuse is associated with higher risk of cancer in adulthood.
The study has shown that people physically abused in childhood are more likely to develop cancer than those who have not been abused.
Esme Fuller-Thomson of U of T's Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work and Department of Family and Community Medicine says that childhood physical abuse is associated with 49 per cent higher odds of cancer in adulthood.
"Few talk about childhood physical abuse and cancer in the same breath. From a public health perspective, it's extremely important that clinicians be aware of the full range of risk factors for cancer. This research provides important new knowledge about a potential childhood abuse-cancer relationship," says Fuller-Thomson.
In the study, researchers found that the association between childhood abuse and cancer remained significant even after controlling for three major potentially confounding factors: childhood stressors, adult health behaviors (i.e. smoking, physical inactivity, alcohol consumption) and adult socio-economic status.
The study is to be published July 15 in the journal Cancer.