Is leukemia a genetically linked cancer?

The majority of childhood leukemics are acquired by genetic diseases. This means that gene mutations and chromosome abnormalities in cells occur sporadically (by chance) and are not inherited from a parent.

The immune system plays an important role in protecting the body from diseases, and possibly cancer. An alteration or defect in the immune system may increase the risk for developing leukemia. Factors such as exposure to certain viruses, environmental factors, chemical exposures, and various infections have been associated with damage to the immune system.

With the exception of specific genetic syndromes, little is known about the causes of childhood leukemia.