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Leukemia - What Increases Your Risk

Some things can increase your chances of getting leukemia. These things are called risk factors. But many people who get leukemia don't have any of these risk factors. And some people who have risk factors don't get this cancer.

General risk factors for leukemia

Other risk factors for AML

  • Exposure to chemicals, such as benzene and formaldehyde.

Other risk factors for CLL

  • Your family history. In some cases, CLL runs in families.
  • Being middle-aged or older, male, and white.
  • Being infected with a virus known as HTLV-1.

Other risk factors for CML

  • Having a gene change (mutation) called the Philadelphia chromosome.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 14, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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