What are the risk factors for leukemia?
The main risk factor for leukemia is exposure to high levels of radiation or certain chemicals. Other risk factors include:
- Smoking cigarettes
- Chemotherapy and radiation therapy for cancer treatment
- Using immunosuppressants after an organ transplant
- Myelodysplastic syndromes
- Genetic syndromes such as Down syndrome and Fanconi anemia
- Family history of CLL
What can you do to prevent leukemia?
Doctors do not know yet if there is a way to prevent leukemia. It is not possible to prevent it by avoiding risk factors – you can develop the condition with no known risk factors, or you can have one or more risk factors and never develop leukemia.