Journal scan

Holocaust survivors found to have greater cancer risk

Holocaust survivors have an elevated cancer risk, according to researchers in Israel who studied more than 152,000 people over 45 years.
holocaust

Holocaust survivors have an elevated cancer risk, a new study suggests.

Researchers from the Chaim Sheba Medical Center in Israel studied more than 152,000 Holocaust survivors over 45 years.

The study, published in Cancer journal, investigated whether starvation, overcrowding, infectious diseases and psychological stress that survivors endured might have contributed to the development of cancer in some individuals.

Researchers looked at entitlement to compensation as well as country of origin, using a classification of countries during the war, separating those that were directly governed by Nazi Germany and non-occupied countries.

Diagnosis

Those born in occupied countries had an 8% increased risk of developing any cancer than those born in non-occupied countries, as well as an 8% and 12% increased risk of colorectal cancer and lung cancer, respectively. Investigators

...

Holocaust survivors have an elevated cancer risk, a new study suggests.

holocaust
Researchers investigated whether suffering during the Holocaust
increased cancer risk. Picture: iStock

Researchers from the Chaim Sheba Medical Center in Israel studied more than 152,000 Holocaust survivors over 45 years.

The study, published in Cancer journal, investigated whether starvation, overcrowding, infectious diseases and psychological stress that survivors endured might have contributed to the development of cancer in some individuals.

Researchers looked at entitlement to compensation as well as country of origin, using a classification of countries during the war, separating those that were directly governed by Nazi Germany and non-occupied countries.

Diagnosis

Those born in occupied countries had an 8% increased risk of developing any cancer than those born in non-occupied countries, as well as an 8% and 12% increased risk of colorectal cancer and lung cancer, respectively. Investigators observed no elevated risks for breast cancer and gynaecological cancers among female survivors.

Cancer was diagnosed in 22% of those who were granted compensation for suffering persecution during the war, compared with 16% of those who were denied compensation.

Survivors who were granted compensation had a 6% higher risk of developing any type of cancer than those who were denied compensation.


Sadetzki S et al (2017) Cancer Risk Among Holocaust Survivors in Israel—A Nationwide Study. Cancer. doi.wiley.com/10.1002/cncr.30783

Want to read more?

Subscribe for unlimited access

Enjoy 1 month's access for £1 and get:

  • Full access to nursing standard.com and the Nursing Standard app
  • Monthly digital edition
  • RCNi Portfolio and interactive CPD quizzes
  • RCNi Learning with 200+ evidence-based modules
  • 10 articles a month from any other RCNi journal

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this?

Jobs