Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Risk Factors
Learn More About Risk Factors for Leukemia: Chat with Us | Email Us
What Are the Risk Factors for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia?
Doctors and researchers do not know the exact causes of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL); however some risk factors have been identified. The data suggests that CLL is more likely to occur in someone over 50 years of age. Additional chronic lymphocytic leukemia risk factors include:
- Chemical Exposure - Some herbicides used in farming may increase the risk of CLL. Researchers are studying the evidence to see if exposure to Agent Orange, a particular kind of herbicide used in the Vietnam War, may be linked to an increased risk of CLL.
- Family History - Having a parent, sibling or child who has had CLL may double your risk for this cancer.
- Gender - Men are more likely to develop CLL than women.
- Age - The risk for developing CLL typically increases with age.
Having a first-degree relative who has had CLL puts you at an increased risk for the disease. However, leukemia often occurs sporadically, without a known hereditary factor or cause. Many people who develop CLL have no known risk factors. The causes of chronic lymphocytic leukemia are not yet well understood, so it may be difficult to assess an individual's overall risk for the disease.
Let your healthcare provider know if you have any of the chronic lymphocytic leukemia risk factors listed above, particularly if you have a brother, sister or parent with the disease. Talking with your doctor can help you understand how these risk factors may affect you and your overall well-being.
CLL is the most common type of leukemia in adults. There are, however, other types of leukemia and the risk factors may vary by type. For more information, visit these sites:
- Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML)
- Acute myelogenous leukemia (AML)
- Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL)
Next Topic: Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Symptoms