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Is leukemia hereditary?

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Quick Answer

An individual’s likelihood of getting acute lymphocytic leukemia is not increased by having a family member who has the disease, according to Cancer.org. Leukemia doesn't seem to run in families, but the possibility rises with the amount of risk factors an individual has.

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Full Answer

A risk factor is what influences the chance of getting a disease, reports Cancer.org, but having one or several risk factors is not a distinct sign of leukemia. Several diseases raise the risk of leukemia, including Down syndrome, neurofibromatosis, Fanconi anemia and Bloom syndrome. According to Cancer.org, acute lymphocytic leukemia affects more males than females and more Caucasians that African Americans. As of 2014 the reason is unknown.

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