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What increases my risk for hematologic cancers?

Your risk of developing a hematologic cancer is increased if you have one or more of the risk factors identified for these disorders. The risk factors generally depend on the type of cancer, but being older is a factor that is common to almost all hematologic cancers. Having one or more relatives with the disease also increases the risk of developing most of the types of hematologic cancers.

Some of the more common risk factors for leukemia are prolonged exposure to benzene, exposure to excessive amounts of radiation, smoking, and being a Caucasian.

Risk factors for lymphoma include being male, being Caucasian, exposure to some pesticides, a diet rich in fats and meat, infection with the Epstein-Barr or human immunodeficiency (HIV) virus, and taking drugs that impair the immune system.

Risk factors for myeloma include being male, being African American, and exposure to excessive radiation.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.