CIRCLE Director, Catherine Metayer, is featured in a PBS Film: Those On The Front Lines of Cancer

CIRCLE Director Catherine Metayer is featured in a new PBS Film produced by Keith Famie, Those On the Front Lines of Cancer.

Dr. Metayer is featured in the film discussing the importance of preventing cancer by reducing human exposure to toxins. She explains that the environment can play a large role in the development of childhood leukemia and speaks about environmental toxins – such as pesticides, cigarette smoke, and traffic emissions – that can cause the disease. Dr. Metayer discusses chemicals in the environment that can damage DNA or disrupt the immune system, setting the stage for the development of cancer. She emphasizes that to prevent future cases of pediatric cancer, we must learn from past mistakes and do more to reduce children’s exposure to harmful toxins.

 “Children are the most vulnerable, they will ingest and inhale more toxins than they can metabolize“ –Dr. Metayer

For epidemiologists who study pediatric cancers, deciphering the causes of disease can be challenging; cancer-causing events that occurred during – or even BEFORE – pregnancy can play an important role. In the film, Dr. Metayer brings up the example of parental tobacco smoking, which is especially toxic at the time of conception. Surprisingly, even a father’s smoking during the period of time before conception can put his unborn child at a greater risk to develop leukemia later in life.

Dr. Metayer highlights the importance of preventing cancer and shares a few simple tips for families who want to avoid contact with harmful chemicals in their own homes. For example, she encourages families to avoid painting their homes while pregnant and encourages fathers to abstain from smoking at any time, from the time of conception to after the child’s birth.

One of Dr. Metayer’s primary motivation is to keep families from feeling the emotional and physical turmoil that childhood cancer creates. In the film she describes her dream to eliminate any additional cases of childhood cancers.

Dr. Metayer’s future research will focus on the impact of environment toxins on other childhood and adolescents cancers, and on the quality of life among childhood cancer survivors.

Learn more about professionals on the front lines of cancer by visiting Those On The Front Lines of Cancer.  Don’t forget to check out the film’s Facebook page! You can find the film available for public viewing here. Check out the trailer to the film below!

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