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Can Radiation be the reason for Chronic Lymphatic leukemia ?

By Anonymous November 20, 2009 - 4:23pm
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I was a Radiologlic Technician for over 40 years.Is it possible that is what caused this?

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Expert HERWriter Guide Blogger

Hi Anon - Thank you for writing to us. According to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is one of four main types of leukemia. About 15,490 new cases of CLL will be diagnosed in 2009. It is estimated that 85,710 people in the United States are living with or are in remission from CLL.

As Dr. Tenny said, the cause isn't really known and there's a lot of speculation. Changes in chromosomes (genetic material) that occur during life have been associated with CLL. Some reports have associated CLL with exposure to radiation and to toxic chemicals, such as benzene (common in agriculture, paint manufacture, and dye manufacture) and Agent Orange (an herbicide used in the Vietnam war). Again, those reports are speculative and the cause remains unknown.

What's really important right now is to learn as much as you can about your treatment options. The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society provides a wealth of information, at no cost, through their website. You can find information on CLL here:


If you have additional questions please don't hesitate to write. I have Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML) and would be happy to share information and resources that can assist you.
Take good care,
Pat Elliott
EmpowHer Cancer Guide

November 20, 2009 - 6:54pm

Hi Anon,

Thanks for your post and welcome. Unfortunately no one knows what causes this condition and with any condition like this there tends to be an enormous amount of speculation about what could be the cause of such a dysfunctional process.

Here is what is known about the leukemia you have been diagnosed with.

Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) is the most common type of leukemia in the western world. The incidence of CLL increases with age, 75% of cases are diagnosed in patients > 60 years old. CLL is twice as common in men. Although the cause is unknown, some cases appear to have a hereditary component. CLL is more common among Jews of Eastern European descent.

Take care and let us know if you have any other questions.

November 20, 2009 - 5:20pm
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