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Review
, 44, 81-96

Adverse Childhood Experiences and the Presence of Cancer Risk Factors in Adulthood: A Scoping Review of the Literature From 2005 to 2015

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Review

Adverse Childhood Experiences and the Presence of Cancer Risk Factors in Adulthood: A Scoping Review of the Literature From 2005 to 2015

Katie A Ports et al. J Pediatr Nurs.

Abstract

Exposure to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) is associated with a host of harmful outcomes, including increased risk for cancer. A scoping review was conducted to gain a better understanding of how ACEs have been studied in association with risk factors for cancer. This review includes 155 quantitative, peer-reviewed articles published between 2005 and 2015 that examined associations between ACEs and modifiable cancer risk factors, including alcohol, environmental carcinogens, chronic inflammation, sex hormones, immunosuppression, infectious agents, obesity, radiation, ultraviolet (UV) radiation, and tobacco, among U.S. adults. This review highlights the growing body of research connecting ACEs to cancer risk factors, particularly alcohol, obesity, and tobacco. Fewer studies investigated the links between ACEs and chronic inflammation or infectious agents. No included publications investigated associations between ACEs and environmental carcinogens, hormones, immunosuppression, radiation, or ultraviolet radiation. Mitigating the impact of ACEs may provide innovative ways to effect comprehensive, upstream cancer prevention.

Keywords: Adverse Childhood Experiences; Cancer prevention; Cancer risk; Child abuse and neglect prevention; Scoping review.

Figures

Fig. 1.
Fig. 1.
Types of adverse childhood experiences included in studies. Note: The size of the word reflects its frequency of measurement in studies. The adversity type may have been measured as an individual item, included as part of a summary or score, or both. The shade of the word has no meaning.
Fig. 2.
Fig. 2.
Flowchart of study selection. Note. Alcohol = AL; Cancer causing substances in the environment = CC; Chronic inflammation = CI; Hormones = HO; Immunosuppression = IM; Infectious agents (IA); Obesity = OB; Radiation = RA; Ultraviolet radiation = UV; Tobacco = TO; *N = total number of unique articles; some articles addressed multiple topics or were excluded for multiple reasons.
Fig. 3.
Fig. 3.
Bubble plot of reported associations between ACEs and cancer risk factors by effect and demographics. Key: Size of bubble = the number of articles looking at the association between ACEs and the identified cancer risk factor; formula image = male-only participants formula image = female-only participants. Note: Study samples were non-Hispanic unless noted.

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