Increased Risk of Leukemia


Risk factors for Increased Risk of Leukemia


Folic Acid Requirement

Maternal folic acid supplementation during pregnancy was associated with a reduced risk of acute lymphoblastic leukemia in children in a study in Western Australia. [Lancet 2001;358(9297): pp.1935-40]

Increased Risk of Leukemia can lead to


Increased Risk of Leukemia could instead be



CML usually occurs in adults but can occur at any age. CML is often found incidentally when an elevated white blood cell count is found. Thrombocytosis is often present. The spleen is usually enlarged. Most patients with CML present in the “chronic” phase of the disease, which usually last from 3 to 5 years. Adverse prognostic features include advanced age, basophilia, severe thrombocytosis, or more than one chromosome abnormality.

Recommendations for Increased Risk of Leukemia


Lab Tests/Rule-Outs  



In evaluating 59 patients with lymphoid malignancies, such as Hodgkin’s disease, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, multiple myeloma and chronic lymphocytic leukemia, serum selenium concentrations were significantly lower in patients than in controls. Clinical stage was inversely associated with selenium levels.



It was found that the copper to zinc ratio was significantly higher in patients with lymphoma or acute and chronic leukemias compared to control subjects. A person at increased risk of one of these cancers should check blood levels of copper and zinc to rule out abnormalities and make adjustments accordingly. Since zinc and copper are antagonistic, and zinc deficiency is relatively common, supplemental zinc is often used to improve this ratio. Zinc helps block the absorption of copper and acts to remove accumulated copper from the body as well as prevent its accumulation. [Rev. Invest. Clin, Nov-Dec. 1995;47(6): pp.447-52]


Weak or unproven link
Strong or generally accepted link
May do some good
Likely to help


Folic Acid

A B-complex vitamin that functions along with vitamin B-12 and vitamin C in the utilization of proteins. It has an essential role in the formation of heme (the iron containing protein in hemoglobin necessary for the formation of red blood cells) and DNA. Folic acid is essential during pregnancy to prevent neural tubular defects in the developing fetus.


An illness or symptom of sudden onset, which generally has a short duration.


Cancer of the lymph glands and bone marrow resulting in overproduction of white blood cells (related to Hodgkin's disease).

White Blood Cell

(WBC): A blood cell that does not contain hemoglobin: a blood corpuscle responsible for maintaining the body's immune surveillance system against invasion by foreign substances such as viruses or bacteria. White cells become specifically programmed against foreign invaders and work to inactivate and rid the body of a foreign substance. Also known as a leukocyte.


Usually Chronic illness: Illness extending over a long period of time.

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