Prevent Leukemia in Children

Avoiding Potential Risk Factors

1. Keep your child away from high doses of radiation

Studies show that people exposed to a high dose of radiation are at risk for leukemia. A classic example is the Hiroshima bombing survivors. Their exposure to atomic bomb radiation increased their chances of getting leukemia dramatically.

Even low doses of radiation in x-rays, CT scans, or radiotherapy increase chances of developing leukemia. Therefore, you should avoid repeated exposure to these tests and treatments as much as possible

Health care professionals must be responsible in avoiding unnecessary radiation exposure for patients.

2. Avoid exposing your child to benzene

Benzene is a chemical base for producing other chemicals such as gasoline, lubricants, and pesticides. It carries a sweet odor that can be absorbed easily once inhaled. It can also penetrate the skin upon exposure. Rates of leukemia, specifically AML, are higher in people exposed to benzene

Chronic exposure causes sufficient amounts of benzene to wreak havoc in the body. Avoid working in places with repeated exposure to benzene such as gasoline stations and cigarette factories

New safety regulations have prompted lessening of benzene content in products such as gasoline. Still, it is best to lessen frequenting gasoline stations and crude oil mills.

3.Refrain from smoking or using tobacco around your child

Smoking induces benzene exposure because benzene is emitted in cigarette smoke. Other radioactive chemicals are also found in cigarettes.

Second-hand smoking exposes a person to benzene as well.

The best advice for smokers is to quit smoking now and save other?s lives too. For non-smokers, avoid cigarette smoke at all cost.

4. Beware of the risks associated with certain types of chemotherapy

Children treated with chemo for other forms of cancer have a higher risk of developing a secondary cancer like Acute Myeloid Leukemia which develops within 5-10 years of treatment

Alkylating agents are mostly the culprit for secondary cancer caused by chemotherapy. This drug attaches a disruptive alkyl group that damages the DNA of cells

There is an increased incidence of leukemia with this group of drugs.

It is advisable to discuss the treatment plan carefully with a doctor when undergoing chemotherapy

5. Do not drink alcohol during pregnancy

Some studies have found that mothers who drink alcohol during pregnancy may increase the risk of leukemia developing in their unborn child.

Keeping Your Child Healthy

Feed your child a healthy diet

Encouraging children to make healthier choices will make their bodies strong and are less likely to develop cancer. According to MD Anderson Cancer Center you may try the following alternatives to help your children eat healthy

  • Add different fruits and vegetables to your kid?s meal.
  • Prepare ready to eat fruits and vegetables for snacks.
  • Puree vegetables and add as sauces over pastas.

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