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Vaccines prevent cancer?

Some vaccinations routinely given to children, such as those for hepatitis B and polio, may lower the risk of certain cancers, like leukemia. Comparing 2,800 cases of childhood cancer in Texas to more than 10,000 healthy individuals, researchers found that children born in counties where the hep B vaccine was common were 20 percent less likely to develop cancer. Similarly, kids born in areas where children are typically vaccinated for both the polio and hep B were 30 to 40 percent less likely to contract the disease, according to a new study published last week in the Journal of Pediatrics. Though some parents choose against vaccinating their children because they believe the shots can cause autism, “people can take a step back and really look at the benefit that vaccines provide — not just for the infectious diseases they were intended to prevent,” study author Michael Scheurer of Baylor College of Medicine in Texas, told Reuters. (Hat tip to FierceVaccines)

Flickr, Blake Patterson

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