Causes of Leukemia

Working With Certain Chemicals
People who work with chemicals such as benzene and formaldehyde may be at a greater risk of developing leukemia. Both benzene and formaldehyde are used by the chemical industry.
Receiving Chemotherapy
People with cancer who are treated with certain cancer-fighting drugs will sometimes later develop leukemia. For example, drugs known as alkylating agents are associated with the development of leukemia.
Down Syndrome and Certain Other Genetic Diseases
Some diseases caused by abnormal chromosomes may increase the risk of leukemia.
Human T-cell Leukemia Virus-I (HTLV-I)
The HTLV-I virus causes a rare type of chronic lymphocytic leukemia known as human T-cell leukemia. However, leukemia does not appear to be contagious.
Myelodysplastic Syndrome
People with myelodysplastic syndrome, which is a blood disease, are at an increased risk of developing acute myeloid leukemia.

Final Thoughts on the Causes of Leukemia

Although scientists do not know the specific causes of leukemia, they continue to search for them. People who think that they may be at risk of leukemia should discuss this concern with their doctor. Doctors can suggest ways to reduce this risk and can plan an appropriate schedule for checkups.
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Leukemia Information

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