STEP 1: Prevention and early detection


Although risk factors have been identified, the cause of CAYA acute leukemia is unknown. There is currently no evidence that lifestyle plays a role. It is important to ensure the patient and their family and/or carer are aware of this to avoid feeling responsible for the illness.

Risk factors

The risk factors for developing a CAYA acute leukaemia include:

  • genetic predisposition to an increased likelihood of developing CAYA acute leukaemia in patients with Down syndrome, neurofibromatosis type-1, ataxia telangiectasia and inherited bone marrow failure syndromes
  • having a sibling with a CAYA acute leukaemia; however, the risk is so low there is no recommendation to routinely screen siblings
  • treatment with certain chemotherapy agents for another cancer.

Early detection

There are no screening tools for early detection of newly diagnosed CAYA acute leukaemia. In patients with an identified cancer predisposition, a specialist may recommend screening full blood count examinations or bone marrow aspirates.

General health checklist

There are no specific prevention or early detection checks that are recommended unless the patient presents with signs or symptoms (refer to Step 2).