What Is It?
Leukemia is cancer of the blood cells. It shows up at about the same rate today as it did in the 1950s, but new treatments mean you can live with it longer than ever and sometimes be cured. While it’s the most common cancer in children, more adults than kids get it. There are several types. Most start in white blood cells, but how they unfold and the treatment you need can be very different.
Who Gets It?
We don’t know what causes leukemia, but chemicals like benzene, found in cigarettes and used in some industries, can raise the odds. Cancer treatment with some types of chemo and radiation may do it, too. You’re also more likely to get it if you have certain genetic conditions, such as Down syndrome and Fanconi anemia. If your parent, brother, sister, or child has it, that suggests a higher chance for you to have it as well.