Is leukemia hereditary?

Question: Is leukemia hereditary?


Answer: Leukemia is defined as cancer of the blood-forming tissues including the bone marrow and the lymphatic system. Several types of leukemia can develop. Some forms of leukemia are more common in children while other forms mostly occur in adults. Leukemia usually involves the white blood cells. Leukemia is not thought to be hereditary. Although the cause of leukemia remains unknown, the incidence of leukemia greatly increases in patients with certain risk factors e.g. genetic disorders such as Down syndrome and exposure to ionizing radiation. Some carcinogenetic substances e.g. benzene and formaldehyde significantly also increase the risk of developing leukemia.

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