Reducing your risk for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)

You may lower your risk of developing chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) by doing the following.

Limit your contact with herbicides and pesticides

Some studies have shown that contact with herbicides and long-term contact with some pesticides may increase your risk of developing CLL. Limit your contact with these chemicals by wearing protective clothing to help reduce your risk of CLL.

Maintain a healthy body weight

Some studies have shown that overweight or obesity may increase your risk of CLL. You may lower your risk by having a healthy body weight. Eating well and being physically active can help you have a healthy body weight.

Avoid breathing in benzene

Some studies have shown that benzene may increase your risk of developing CLL. Avoid or limit your contact with benzene.

More information about preventing cancer

Learn what you can do to prevent cancer.

Expert review and references

  • American Cancer Society. What are the risk factors for chronic lymphocytic leukemia?. 2016:
  • Castillo JJ, Reagan JL, Ingham RR, Furman M, Dalia S, Merhi B, Nemr S, Zarrabi A, Mitri J. . Obesity but not overweight increases the incidence and mortality of leukemia in adults: a meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. Leukemia Research. 2012.
  • Kurtin SE . Leukemia and myelodysplastic syndromes. Yarbro, CH, Wujcki D, & Holmes Gobel B. (eds.). Cancer Nursing: Principles and Practice. 7th ed. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett; 2011: 57: pp. 1369-1398.
  • Saberi Hosnijeh F, Romieu I, Gallo V, Riboli E, Tjonneland A, Halkjaer J, et al . Anthropometric characteristics and risk of lymphoid and myeloid leukemia in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC). Cancer Causes and Control. 2013.