What increases my risk of ALL?

older man smoking

The cause of ALL is unknown. But there are certain things called risk factors that can increase your chance of developing the disease.

These include:          

  • Exposure to chemicals: These include certain pesticides, benzene and other chemicals found in industry.
  • Exposure to radiation: This includes exposure to high doses of radiation in industry or nuclear accidents or to previous radiotherapy.
  • Genetic disorders: These include Down syndrome and Fanconi anaemia.
  • Previous medical treatment: This includes taking previous chemotherapy or radiotherapy or drugs that affect your immune system.
  • Being overweight.
  • Being male.
  • Cigarette smoking or exposure to cigarette smoke.
  • Lowered immunity and some viral infections (HTLV-1).
  • Age- ALL is more common in children, younger adult 15-25 and those over 70 years.

Having a risk factor doesn’t mean you will get cancer. Sometimes people with no risk factors get the disease. If you’re worried, talk to your GP or talk to one of our cancer nurses. Call our Support Line on 1800 200 700, email supportline@irishcancer.ie or visit a Daffodil Centre. 

For more information

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1800 200 700

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