Risk Factors for Acute Leukemia in Children

Leukemia – a form of cancer in the white blood cells is known to be a very general type of childhood cancer. Epidemiologic studies have examined risk factors for acute leukemia in children and it includes environmental, infectious and genetic factors.

Most environmental risk factors are known to be weak and contradictorily related with the symptoms of acute childhood leukemia. The risk factors for acute Leukemia in children are as follows.

Acute Leukemia in Children

Environmental Factors 

Environmental risk factor influences our surroundings such as chemicals and radiations which increase the risk of receiving leukemia. Exposure to high rays is a risk factor of leukemia.

If the fetal is exposed to radiation during the time of the development, then there will be chance of leukemia of the child within the mother womb itself.

Leukemia in children can be often said as a cause of excessive exposure of fetal to radiation like CT scans and X-rays. The children treated for cancer with chemotherapy have a large risk of having second cancer later in life and the exposure to chemicals may cause AML in children very often. The children receiving, intensive treatment to restrain their immune function has a risk of leukemia.

Genetic Risk Factors 

Genetic risk factors account for only small amount of childhood leukemia certain inherited diseases are associated with high risk of developing leukemia.

There are numerous inherited disorders that boost a child risks developing leukemia and they are Li-Fraumeni syndrome, Down syndrome and Klinefelter syndrome.

The inherited disease causes problems in the child’s immune system from birth. The children who are more prone of getting severe infections from immune defenses also have a risk of leukemia. This risk is much higher in twins and it develops from the first year of birth.

Lifestyle Related Risk Factors 

Often, reasons like overweight, drinking alcohol, smoking, and getting into too much sun exposure in adults results in their children getting infected with leukemia.

Some studies say that if a mother is alcoholic and consumes excessive alcohol throughout pregnancy it will have the possibility of leukemia developed in children.

Unproven, uncertain or controversial risk factors  The other factors that are possible for childhood leukemia includes – contact to electromagnetic fields, living near nuclear power plant, chemical contamination of ground water, parents smoking history, fetal exposure to hormones and many more.

So far, most of the studies have not seen strong links in any of these factors of childhood leukemia; but research is still being executed.

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