Types of leukemia and Risks

A few common associated risks of leukemia

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society estimates that nearly 60,140 people have been diagnosed with luekemia by the end of 2016. A cancer of the blood cells, leukemia is known as the cancer of the bone marrow or the blood.  Divided broadly, there are four major types of Leukemia:

  • Acute Lymphoid Leukemia (ALL)
  • Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML)
  • Chronic Lymphoid Leukemia (CLL) and
  • Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML)

Apart from this, there are certain rare types of leukemia as well, which also exhibit symptoms similar to those of the four major types. whther a person needs chronic myeloid leukemia treatments, leukemia cll treatments and so on depends on on the type luekemia the person has. There are no known causes for leukemia and why it affects one person and not another. However, there are certain risk factors that can increase the chances of a person getting leukemia:

  • Exposure to smoking: While smoking is known to cause cancer of the mouth or lungs, the cancer-causing properties of tobacco is known to course through the blood streams causing damage. Leukemia treatment in such cases will depend on the stage of cancer.
  • Exposure to chemicals: Exposure to elevated levels of certain chemicals have been known to cause leukemia.
  • Exposure to radiation: Exposure to increased levels of radiation is known to cause leukemia. Chronic myeloid leukemia treatments usually involve lowering the rate at which leukemia cells are generated in your body.
  • Other types of cancer and their treatments: Cancer treatments other than leukemia treatments also involve the use of chemotherapy and several sittings of radiation. This can elevate the risk of developing leukemia.
  • Previously existing blood problems or issues: Certain people who have existing problems of the blood such as polycythemia vera or myelodysplastic syndrome tend to develop a certain kind of leukemia. Leukemia treatments, therefore, need to be provided according to the needs of the patient.
  • Congenital syndromes: Syndromes such as Down’s Syndrome or Li-Fraumeni Syndrome seem to increase the risk of leukemia.
  • Family history: Leukemia cell treatments involve bone marrow transplants, and sometimes these are found within families. A general study of the family history will tell you if anyone is at an increased risk of developing this type of cancer.

A brief understanding of the risk factors and knowing whether lifestyle or habits contribute to an increased risk of developing leukemia will help you to make the right changes at the right time.

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