At this time, there is no scientifically confirmed cause for leukemia. The best guess, per the Mayo Clinic, is that leukemia “seems to develop from a combination of genetic and environmental factors.” Though, experts believe a person is more at risk for developing leukemia if they smoke, have certain genetic disorders such as Down syndrome, are often exposed to chemicals, or have a family history of leukemia.
Experts believe that leukemia is caused by a mutation in DNA. DNA tells healthy cells how to grow and what to do when they die. DNA tells cells to grow and divide even if they are mutated. The growing number of abnormal cells caused by errant blood cells eventually overwhelms the number of bone marrow healthy cells. This results in fewer healthy red and white blood cells and platelets which can lead to leukemia.
Although symptoms may vary depending on type of leukemia they include persistent fatigue or weakness and fever, unintentional fat loss, swollen glands, easy bleeding orbruising, excessive sweating at nights, and bone pain.