What are the causes of Leukemia?
- By studying large numbers of people all over the world, researchers have found certain risk factors that increase a person's risk of getting leukemia. For example, exposure to large amounts of high-energy radiation increases the risk of getting leukemia. Such radiation was produced by the atomic bomb explosions in Japan during World War II. In nuclear power plants, strict safety rules protect workers and the public from exposure to harmful amounts of radiation.
- Some research suggests that exposure to electromagnetic fields is a possible risk factor for leukemia. (Electromagnetic fields are a type of low-energy radiation that comes from power lines and electric appliances.) However, more studies are needed to prove this link.
- Certain genetic conditions can increase the risk for leukemia. One such condition is Down's syndrome; children born with this syndrome are more likely to get leukemia than other children.
- Workers exposed to certain chemicals over a long period of time are at higher risk for leukemia. Benzene is one of these chemicals.
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