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Health A-Z

Medical Content Created by the Faculty of the
Harvard Medical School

Prevention

There are no known ways to prevent ALL.

A few factors may increase a person's risk of developing ALL, but most are not avoidable. These include:

  • Being male.

  • Being white.

  • Exposure to high levels of radiation, such as that from an atomic bomb.

  • Exposure to certain chemicals, including past treatment with some chemotherapy drugs.

  • Certain inherited disorders, such as Down syndrome or Fanconi anemia.

Having one or more of these risk factors does not mean you will develop ALL. Many people with the disease do not have any risk factors.

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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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