It’s hard to say that something is a specific causal factor of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) because it’s a disease that develops overtime. Many factors can go into helping the disease to form, Dr. George Yaghmour, Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine at USC’s Keck School of Medicine, tells SurvivorNet.
There are, however, certain things in the environment that are considered “driving factors” for increasing the risk of the disease.
“We don’t believe that there are factors that cause leukemia, but we believe that there are mutations accumulated from different environmental factors, on top of predisposing genes … that turn into leukemia,” Dr. Yaghmour says.
Some of those environmental factors that could contribute to disease development, according to Dr. Yaghmour, are radiation and chemicals like benzene and formaldehyde.
AML is a cancer of the bone marrow. There are certain environmental factors, as well as familial predispositions, that may increase a person’s risk of developing the disease.