Leukemia - Acute Myeloid - AML - Childhood: Risk Factors

This section has been reviewed and approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 01/2013

ON THIS PAGE: You will find out more about what factors increase the chance of this type of cancer. To see other pages, use the menu on the side of your screen.

A risk factor is anything that increases a person’s chance of developing cancer. Although risk factors often influence the development of cancer, most do not directly cause cancer. Some people with several risk factors never develop cancer, while others with no known risk factors do.

Doctors and researchers don’t know what causes most childhood cancers, including AML. Sometimes, AML may be caused by certain genetic or environmental factors. For example, children who have Down syndrome have an increased risk of AML during the first four years of life. However, the reasons for this increased risk are not well understood.

AML occurs more often in children younger than two. The number of people with AML increases again in late childhood (during the teenage years) and continues to increase throughout later adulthood.

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