Causes and prevention of acute myeloid leukaemia (AML)

The exact cause of AML is unknown. But there are certain things camled risk factors that can increase your chance of getting the disease.

These include

  • Age:AML occurs mainly in people over the age of 65.
  • Gender:It is more common in men than women.
  • Smoking: Benzene and other solvents in cigarettes can increase your risk.
  • Radiation: Exposure to high doses of radiation like in nuclear accidents can increase your risk.
  • Exposure to gases and chemicals: Radon gas, benzene and other chemicals found in industry can increase your risk of AML.
  • Previous cancer treatments: If you have been treated with chemotherapy or radiotherapy before, it can increase your risk.
  • Genetic disorders: This includes Down syndrome.
  • Blood disorders:This includes Fanconi anaemia, myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and myeloproliferative disorders.

AML is not infectious and cannot be passed on to other people. Also, it is not a genetic disease and cannot be passed on through families (hereditary).

Call our National Cancer Helpline

Freephone 1800 200 700 to talk to a specialist cancer nurse
It's open Monday-Thursday from 9am to 7pm and Friday from 9am to 5pm