Risk Factors for Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Executive Summary

Risk factors influence the chance of developing cancer (childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia) among individuals, but individuals with no risk factors also develop cancer. Although doctors do not know what causes most childhood leukaemia, some evidence shows that certain genetic factors play a role in ALL. The common risk factors of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia cancers include the child’s genetics. Children born with the condition linked to genetic and immune systems problems, such as Down syndrome, ataxia-telangiectasia, and Bloom syndrome, may risk developing leukaemia.

Risk Factors Associated with Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

A risk factor can be anything that influences the development of any cancer. But having a risk factor, or many does not give certainty of having particular cancer. Some people with no risk factors can also develop cancer. 

Although doctors don’t know what causes most childhood leukaemia, some evidence shows that certain genetic factors play a role in acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

Genetics

Children born with the condition linked to genetic and immune systems problems, such as Down syndrome, ataxia-telangiectasia, and Bloom syndrome, may risk developing leukaemia ​1​

Also, a child with an identical twin that develops acute lymphoblastic leukaemia before age 6 has an increased risk of developing leukaemia. If an identical twin develops leukaemia within the first few months of life, the other will almost always develop the same type of leukaemia.

References

  1. 1.
    Belson M, Kingsley B, Holmes A. Risk Factors for Acute Leukemia in Children: A Review. Environmental Health Perspectives. Published online January 2007:138-145. doi:10.1289/ehp.9023