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Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Causes & Risks


The exact cause of CLL is unknown. Changes in chromosomes that occur during life have been associated with CLL. It is also associated with exposure to radiation and to toxic chemicals such as:

  • Benzene (common in agriculture, paint manufacture, and dye manufacture)
  • Agent Orange (an herbicide used in the Vietnam war)

Risk Factors

The following factors increase your chance of developing CLL:

  • Age: Middle age or older
  • Sex: Male
  • Race: White
  • A family history of CLL or cancer of the lymphatic system
  • Having relatives who are Russian Jews or Eastern European Jews
  • Exposure to Agent Orange

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Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Guide


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