Study: Holocaust survivors at higher risk for cancer

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Jewish Holocaust survivors are at a higher risk for cancer, a study found.

The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Haifa and published online Monday in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, compared the cancer rates of more than 300,000 European-born Jews who immigrated to Israel before or during World War II and those who immigrated after World War II until 1989.

Both groups have higher rates of cancer than other Jewish and non-Jewish groups in Israel.

Exposure to the Holocaust was found to increase, by at least 17 percent, the risk of contracting all kinds of cancers in both sexes — the strongest risks were for breast, lung and colorectal cancer. The younger a person was exposed to the Holocaust, the higher the risk of cancer, the study found.

Dr. Lital Keinan-Boker of Haifa University’s School of Public Health, Faculty of Welfare and Health Sciences led the research team.

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