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How to Avoid Leukemia: 4 Things You Need to Know

How to Avoid Leukemia: 4 Things You Need to Know

Cancer is one of the most widespread forms of disease worldwide. While leukemia is not one of the most common types, it’s very important to know how to avoid leukemia.

While leukemia is not a death sentence, as it can be treated, the survival rate is at around 60% on average. So it’s still important to take the necessary precautions, if any, in order to avoid leukemia.

But how exactly would you go about it?

How to Avoid Leukemia: 4 Things to Know

Right now, there is no way to completely prevent or avoid leukemia. While leukemia is not necessarily hereditary, some people are genetically predisposed to having an increased risk for this type of cancer.

The best that we can do is to avoid certain things that can potentially increase the risk of leukemia. Here are 4 of those things:

Smoking

Being a smoker has been identified as a risk factor for certain types of leukemia. This is because cigarette smoke contains a lot of carcinogens that can harm the body, and increase your risk of not just leukemia, but other types of cancer. These include lung cancer, mouth cancer, stomach cancer, cervical cancer, and more.

Apart from this, smoking also increases a person’s risk for lung problems such as emphysema, heart disease, stroke, diabetes.

The benefits of quitting smoking also happen as soon as you quit. However, it takes about 20 years before your risk decreases to that of a person who has never smoked before.

So it would be best to quit smoking as soon as possible to improve your overall health and avoid leukemia.

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Exposure to radiation

When the topic of how to avoid leukemia comes up, avoiding radiation exposure is always on the list. This is because exposure to radiation can increase not just the risk of leukemia, but other forms of cancer.

In particular, people who work near sources of radiation such as X-rays and other medical equipment, facilities that process radioactive materials, and nuclear power plants should take the necessary precautions to protect themselves.

Make sure to follow the proper safety protocol, and wear the right kind of equipment so you won’t get exposed to harmful radiation.

Unhealthy foods

Eating unhealthy foods can increase our risk of certain types of cancers, including leukemia. So one way to avoid leukemia would be to focus on eating healthy foods instead.

Good examples of this are fresh fruits and vegetables, fatty fish, nuts, grains, and seeds. While eating meat doesn’t necessarily lead to cancer, eating too much can increase a person’s risk.

Eating foods that are heavily processed can also increase the risk of cancer. This is because certain types of chemicals used in food processing and preservation can lead to cancer, especially if it is consumed in large amounts.

Being overweight or obese

Lastly, being overweight or obese is a known risk factor for leukemia, as well as other types of cancers. So to avoid leukemia, it is important to maintain a healthy weight.

Numerous studies have consistently shown that there is indeed a link between being overweight or obese, and an increased risk for cancers.

So if you are obese or overweight, it might be a good idea to make some lifestyle changes as soon as possible. Changing your diet, as well as engaging in daily physical exercise can help you lose weight, stay healthy, and avoid leukemia.

Key Takeaways

While you can’t completely avoid leukemia, avoiding the four things above can help reduce your risk not just of leukemia, but other forms of cancer as well. Additionally, avoiding the things above also helps improve your overall health.

It’s also important to remember that if you notice any unusual symptoms, don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor. Early cancer detection improves the chances of treatment, and it’s always a good idea to err on the side of caution.

Learn more about Leukemia here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Cancer and Sun Safety: What You Need to Know | Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, https://www.lls.org/blog/cancer-and-sun-safety-what-you-need-to-know, Accessed March 15, 2021

Blood Cancers: Steps for Prevention, https://www.orlandohealth.com/content-hub/blood-cancers-steps-for-prevention, Accessed March 15, 2021

Leukemia Awareness and Prevention | Leukemia | UT Southwestern Medical Center, https://utswmed.org/conditions-treatments/leukemia/leukemia-awareness-and-prevention/, Accessed March 15, 2021

Reducing your risk for leukemia – Canadian Cancer Society, https://www.cancer.ca/en/cancer-information/cancer-type/leukemia/risks/reducing-your-risk/?region=on, Accessed March 15, 2021

Symptoms, Risk & Prevention – Leukemia – Siteman Cancer Center, https://siteman.wustl.edu/treatment/cancer-types/leukemia/symptoms-risk-and-prevention/, Accessed March 15, 2021

Food and Nutrition | Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, https://www.lls.org/managing-your-cancer/food-and-nutrition, Accessed March 15, 2021

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Written by Jan Alwyn Batara Updated Jun 10
Medically reviewed by John Paul Ferolino Abrina, M.D.