Oncologist-approved cancer information from the American Society of Clinical Oncology
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Leukemia - Chronic T-Cell Lymphocytic

This section has been reviewed and approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 5/2013
Risk Factors

ON THIS PAGE: You will find out more about what factors increase the chance of T-cell leukemia. 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 leukemia, most do not directly cause the disease. Some people with several risk factors never develop leukemia, while others with no known risk factors do. However, knowing your risk factors and talking about them with your doctor may help you make more informed lifestyle and health care choices.

In general, leukemia can be caused by a genetic mutation (change) that is inherited (passed from generation to generation within a family) or environmental factors, such as smoking or exposure to chemicals or radiation. However, most often the cause of leukemia is not known. 

The following risk factor can increase a person’s chance of developing T-cell leukemia:

Race/Ethnicity. ATLL is more common in people of Japanese, West Indian, and African American descent.

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