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24 years
How can someone get leukemia? How can we prevent it? Who does it usually affect?
Sep 12, 2013

Dr. Rania Mousa General Medicine
Leukemia is cancer of the blood cells. It starts in the bone marrow, the soft tissue inside most bones. Bone marrow is where blood cells are made.When you have leukemia, the bone marrow starts to make a lot of abnormal white blood cells, called leukemia cells. They don't do the work of normal white blood cells, they grow faster than normal cells, and they don't stop growing when they should.
Over time, leukemia cells can crowd out the normal blood cells. This can lead to serious problems such as anemia, bleeding, and infections. Leukemia cells can also spread to the lymph nodes or other organs and cause swelling or pain.
Experts don't know what causes leukemia. But some things are known to increase the risk of some kinds of leukemia. These things are called risk factors. You are more likely to get leukemia if you:
-Were exposed to large amounts of radiation.
-Were exposed to certain chemicals at work, such as benzene.
-Had some types of chemotherapy to treat another cancer.
-Have Down syndrome or some other genetic problems.
But most people who have these risk factors don't get leukemia. And most people who get leukemia do not have any known risk factors
There is no known way to prevent most types of leukemia. Most people with leukemia do not have known risk factors.
Some types of leukemia may be prevented by avoiding high doses of radiation, exposure to the chemical benzene, smoking and other tobacco use, or certain types of chemotherapy used to treat other types of cancer.