A risk factor is something that affects a person's chance of getting a disease such as cancer. For example, exposing skin to strong sunlight is a risk factor for skin cancer. Smoking is a risk factor for a number of cancers. But having a risk factor, or even many risk factors, does not mean that you will get the disease. And many people who get the disease may not have had any known risk factors.
The only risk factors for chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) are:
There are no other proven risk factors for CML. The risk of getting CML does not seem to be affected by smoking, diet, exposure to chemicals, or infections. And CML does not run in families.
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Last Revised: June 19, 2018
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