Can childhood leukemia be prevented?
Right now there is no known way to prevent most cases of leukemia. Unlike some other types of cancer, leukemia is usually not linked to lifestyle risk factors.
For some children, treatment with chemotherapy (chemo) or radiation for other, earlier cancers may cause leukemia later on. But the clear need to treat life-threatening diseases with chemo, radiation therapy, or organ transplant must be balanced against the small chance of developing leukemia several years later.
Because the cause of most cases of leukemia is not known, parents of children with leukemia need to know that there is nothing they could have done to prevent this illness.
Last Medical Review: 06/29/2012
Last Revised: 01/21/2013