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Chronic myeloid leukemia
Causes and risk factors

In the great majority of patients, a causative factor cannot be identified. Some associations with genetic and environmental factors have been reported, but in most cases, no such factors can be identified.

Radiation exposure

Nuclear and radiation exposures, including therapeutic radiation, have been associated with the development of CML. CML has been observed in studies following the atom bomb explosions in Japan in 1945, and by earlier studies in radiologists and in patients with ankylosing spondylitis treated with radiation therapy. However, this accounts for only a small portion of cases.

Benzene exposure

Exposure to chemicals has not been associated with greater risk except for the use of benzene.

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Genetic factors

There is little evidence linking genetic factors to CML. Offspring of parents with CML do not have a higher incidence of CML than the general population.

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