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Risk Factors & Prevention

While blood and marrow cancer can’t be completely prevented, there are ways you can help lower your risk. At CHI Saint Joseph Health, we offer the education and support you need to stay on top of your health, plus a full range of advanced diagnostic tests and cancer treatment options.

To request a referral to one of our caring specialists, call 844.303.9355, or find a provider anytime online.

Understand Your Blood & Marrow Risk Factors

The exact causes of blood cancer are still unclear, but certain risk factors have been identified for the most common types of this disease, including leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma. These include:

  • Smoking: Cigarettes can affect the cells that indirectly come in contact with smoke, like blood cells. If you’re struggling to quit, KentuckyOne offers free smoking cessation classes to help you conquer the habit once and for all.
  • Previous cancer treatment: People who've had certain types of chemotherapy and radiation therapy for other cancers have an increased risk of developing certain types of leukemia.
  • Genetic disorders: Certain genetic conditions, such as Down syndrome, are associated with an increased risk of leukemia.
  • Chemical exposure: Prolonged exposure to chemicals like benzene, which is found in gasoline and used by the chemical industry, is linked to an increased risk of some kinds of blood cancers.
  • Family history: If members of your family have been diagnosed with leukemia, your risk of the disease may be increased. KentuckyOne provides complementary genetic cancer counseling for individuals or families with any hereditary concerns. If needed, your counselor will also coordinate genetic testing and walk through next steps.
  • Increasing age: Certain blood cancers are more likely to develop in older adults; most people diagnosed with multiple myeloma are over age 60.

Staying Proactive is the Key to Prevention

If you’re concerned about any of the risk factors above, or just want to take charge of your health and wellness, CHI Saint Joseph Health can help. Our board-certified primary care physicians offer regular exams and blood tests which can help determine your risk for certain conditions, and will work with you to create a personal wellness plan. If needed, we can also perform any follow-up tests or refer you to a specialist.

Find a Provider

Find a primary care provider or specialist near you in our extensive network of clinics and hospitals.