• What are the risk factors of Leukemia?

    Asked by MelMom on Saturday, January 19, 2013

    What are the risk factors of Leukemia?

    I am trying to figure out what may have caused it

    9 Answers from the Community

    9 answers
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      People who've had certain types of chemotherapy and radiation therapy for other cancers have an increased risk of developing certain types of leukemia.

      Certain genetic disorders, such as Down syndrome, are associated with increased risk of leukemia.

      Certain blood disorders. People who have been diagnosed with certain blood disorders, such as myelodysplastic syndromes, may have an increased risk of leukemia.

      People exposed to very high levels of radiation, such as survivors of a nuclear reactor accident, have an increased risk of developing leukemia.

      Exposure to certain chemicals, such as benzene — which is found in gasoline and is used by the chemical industry — also is linked to increased risk of some kinds of leukemia.

      Smoking cigarettes increases the risk of acute myelogenous leukemia.

      If members of your family have been diagnosed with leukemia, your risk of the disease may be increased.

      However, most people with known risk factors don't get leukemia. And many people with leukemia have none of these risk factors.

      over 4 years ago
    • TinaJacques' Avatar

      Trust me, you'll drive yourself crazy trying to figure out what caused it and if you could have avoided it somehow. My sister was diagnosed with leukemia when she was 7 wit no risk factors. 20 years later I was diagnosed with lymphoma, a related blood cancer. As much as we all wish we could figure out how we got here, thats not what matters. What matters is that we will get better. Good luck!

      over 4 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar

      Hugs and healing vibes. I agree with TinaJacques, you can drive yourself nuts if you go down that path. I did. Cancer is a tricky devil and though we know much of what the risk factors are, there is no definitive answer on why many people get the cancers they do.

      over 4 years ago
    • gwendolyn's Avatar

      Speaking about cancer, in general: Risk factors are just risk factors. They are not causes. Many people with known risk factors don't get cancer. Many people with no known risk factors do get cancer.

      For a long while after diagnosis almost all of us ask "Why?!?" and wonder what we could have or should have done differently. Modern medicine can't answer that question, in most cases.

      over 4 years ago
    • LisaLathrop's Avatar

      My husband still wonders how I got Leukemia...even 4 years after diagnosis/remission. Is it because we lived in Minot, ND...near the AFB with tons of underground nukes everywhere? Is it something I enjoyed eating all my life? I never smoked, drank minimally and led a pretty healthy lifestyle. However, Cancer does run in my family....my Mom died of lung cancer, and her mother and all 3 of my grandmother's siblings died of DIFFERENT types of cancer. I suppose I always knew in the back of my mind, I'd get it one day, too. My sister is also a survivor...basal cell carcinoma. When I was diagnosed and so many tests were done to analyze my DNA, etc. to find a customizeable treatment just for me, a marker on my DNA called FLT3 was found. THAT was something that allowed cancer, maybe even the Leukemia, to grow in my body.

      TinaJacques is right...you'll drive yourself crazy wondering the hows and whys it was you. Now's the time to put all your strength into moving forward and putting your energy into survival! Good luck to you : )

      over 4 years ago
    • MelMom's Avatar

      Thanks for the responses, I just have a hard time coming to grips with this.

      over 4 years ago
    • DeaconsWife's Avatar

      MelMom, from what I understand, science doesn't even know exactly what causes Leukemia. Some forms, like CLL and ALL are not cureable because there just isn't enough known about it. There is no 'majic switch' to it...and there is no smoking gun, either. They know a lot of 'nots' about it, like it is not hereditary, it is not nutritional-issue based (there are no known foods to avoid too much of or to avoid not enough of) it is not necessarily envoronment-based (living near a factory or neuclear testing site doesn't seem to be a factor)...etc. So don't go nuts trying to find out "why"? Some of the best scientific minds in the world are already working on that. Spend your energy, instead, on finding out how to best eat, exercise, rest, etc to prolong the periods between needing treatments like chemo or radiation. Each person is different so that will require some research on your part as well as enough awareness of your body's needs to answer. The sooner you put all that together, the sooner you can feel better...and longer...between heavy treatments.

      about 4 years ago
    • theweasel's Avatar

      Trying to figure it out will drive you crazy and make you focus on feeling that you should have done something differently and should have "known better" and it wouldn't have happened. That's what I tell myself . But then, don't listen to me. I'm not of the "things happen for a reason" persuasion. More of the "XXX happens". Actually makes me feel better. Nonetheless, love and best wishes to you.

      almost 4 years ago
    • junebugg1961's Avatar

      I did back in 2004 interferon for Hep C . It was very sucessful where in 3 months it was non detectable. During the next year I had three MRCA infections which at the time we didnt know that much about . By March 2005 I was having severe colds, abcesses, etc. I also had swollen lymph nodes in my neck but have had some type of swollen glands since i was 5, and always remember being sick as a child without ever finding out why. My doctor ordered a siopsy of one of the glands and there it was, I was told thst the reason i developed it was because of the interferon. Then in 2007 i had a reactivation of the Hep C which i was told due to the chemo. my hep C can Not be treated again. does anyone have a similar experiance?

      almost 4 years ago

    Help the community by answering this question:

    Create an account to post your answer Already have an account? Sign in!

    By using WhatNext, you agree to our User Agreement, and Privacy Policy

    Read and answer more chronic lymphocytic leukemia (cll) questions.  Also, don't forget to check out our Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) page.