10 Important Risk Factors For Blood Cancer

Blood cancer is one of the most dreaded diseases in the world. About 178,582 people in the United States are diagnosed with blood cancers (leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma) annually, with a person dying from it every nine minutes.

Let’s break down some of the things that can put you at risk of getting blood cancer…

1. Gender

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Men typically have a higher risk of developing blood cancer than women, though that might not always be the case. Physicians have noted that the nodular sclerosis subtype of Hodgkin’s lymphoma is more prevalent among female patients.

There some things that don’t get better with time…

2. Age

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The risk of getting blood cancer increases as you get older. But unlike some types of leukemia that are already seen among children, myeloma and lymphoma occur mostly among adults who are over 40.

The color of your skin might have something to do with your risk, too…

3. Race

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Many studies have noted the racial/ethnic disparities in blood cancer cases. White people and those of Hispanic descent are more likely to develop leukemia and non-Hodgkins lymphoma, while Black people have twice the diagnosis and mortality rates for myeloma.

Certain habits are meant to be broken, and for good reason…

4. Smoking

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While smoking is usually associated with lung and mouth cancers, it can likewise cause blood cancer. How? Cigarette smoke contains benzene, a carcinogenic known to cause acute myeloid leukemia, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and multiple myeloma.

One can be exposed to benzene in other ways…

5. Chemical Exposure

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In any circumstance, frequent exposure to toxic chemicals is dangerous. Carcinogens like benzene and formaldehyde, which are in use in many industries like rubber manufacturing, oil refineries, and chemical plants, are often linked to a higher risk of developing blood cancer.

Sometimes the risk literally runs in the blood…

6. Blood Disorders

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Certain blood diseases can eventually develop into blood cancers. For example, some cases of myelofibrosis may lead to acute myelogenous leukemia. On the other hand, polycythemia is related to multiple myeloma, both being hematopoietic stem cell disorders. 

Or, this could stem to something you were born with…

7. Congenital Syndromes

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People born with congenital syndromes such as down syndrome, fanconi anemia, and Bloom syndrome are especially vulnerable to blood cancer, particularly various subtypes of leukemia.

Being in bad shape does more harm than you think…

8. Unhealthy Weight Gain

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Dr. Marshall Lichtmann from the University of Rochester Medical Center states in his research that significant annual weight gain between the ages of 25-40 increases the risk of developing chronic myelogenous leukemia. Other studies have also noted the relationship of obesity to non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

Not all heirlooms are worth cherishing…

9. Family History

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Technically speaking, blood cancers aren’t a hereditary disease. But, having someone in your immediate family, like a parent or a sibling, with a previous history of blood cancer might increase the risk for you.

Speaking of past history…

10. Previous Cancer Treatments

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Some treatments can do more harm than good, as patients who have undergone therapies for other cancers might be at high risk of developing blood cancer. Chemotherapy in particular has been singled out to be a great risk factor in causing types of leukemia.

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