Leukemia (AML)

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Do Benzene and Formaldehyde Cause Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML)?

Dr. George Yaghmour Keck School of Medicine - USC

Environmental Risk Factors for AML

  • Doctors can’t say for certain that any one environmental cause is behind someone’s AML diagnosis
  • Several environmental factors, such as exposure to chemicals like benzene and formaldehyde, have been linked to an increased risk of developing the disease
  • These are considered “driving factors” for increasing risk, not “causal factors”

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.

RELATED: What Are the Risk Factors Associated With AML?

“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.

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Dr. George Yaghmour is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine at USC's Keck School of Medicine. Read More

Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) Risk

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.

Prevention & Screening: Understanding AML

  • Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a cancer of the bone marrow
  • The disease causes cells in the bone marrow that would be producing red and white blood cells and platelets to die off
  • Eventually, bone marrow begins to fill with cancer cells

What is Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML)?

Dr. Mikkael Sekeres
University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center

What Are The Risk Factors Of Acute Myeloid Leukemia?

Dr. Gail Roboz
Weill Cornell Medicine