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Health A-Z

Medical Content Created by the Faculty of the
Harvard Medical School

Prevention

There is no known way to prevent AML.

However, several factors can increase a person's risk of developing adult AML. These include:

  • Exposure to certain industrial chemicals such as benzene

  • Previous cancer treatment, including for childhood acute lymphocytic leukemia

  • Exposure to high-dose radiation (such as a nuclear reactor accident)

  • A history of some blood disorders, including myelodysplastic syndromes

  • Some genetic disorders such as Down syndrome and Fanconi anemia

  • Smoking

Most people with AML do not have a known risk factor.

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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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