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Do you know how you got CML?

Hi just wondering if anyone knows why they think they got this illness?I have put mine down to severe emotional trauma and stress several years prior or to an overload of xrays through my life...Anyone care to share their thoughts?

In my case, I think that I have to accept that this is no more than the genetic accident. I did spend a few of my early years working in a radio development laboratory where microwaves were present. Later I sat in an office directly beneath an enormous microwave radio tower. I have read that it is thought that normal radio frequency emissions are not influential in causing leukaemia.

I read that there were three main contributory factors that might lead to the development of CML -exposure to radiation,overexposure to benzine and a "virus infection gone wrong".We now know that overexposure to CAT and PET scans may be dangerous.It has been indicated that those who were regularily exposed to using creosote or spray paints and woodworm treatment might be at risk.The virus is the "abelson murine leukaemia viral oncogene" or ABL1.Stress may be a factor that helps viral development I have read.

In the 1980 s I had lots and lots of computer assisted tomography (CAT) on my lungs.I have used creosote on my garden fences and in late 90 s onwards over ten years I traveled about 100 000 air miles a year as part of my job so there was higher level solar radiation and those perhaps unreliable X ray security scans at airports.I did discuss this with my consultant who said not proven as studies on cabin crew were inconclusive.

I have drawn my own conclusion but others may not be able to postulate any definite reason why their DNA has been compromised and why they have experienced abnormal chromosomal activity.



Definitely not as educated on the technicalities of Cml as John, but doesn’t this question apply to any life changing illness, apart from trying to live a healthy lifestyle, people will always be, unfortunately struck with challenges and ill health is one of them.

Radiation and chemo with numerous scans I believe caused my CML. That being said could I have reduced my risk factor by decreasing the stress in my life and raising my Viramin D? That will always be a question in my mind.


well for many years i worked with soot,and i am a stress head delux,and i have the Herpes simplex virus,HSV all three could be a cause or the combination did it,its strange that there is no information on what definatly causes CML..

i think if i knew why it would be easier to accept..

stay well


Hi all. I’ve had CML for 2 1/2 years and intially I wracked my brain as to how I got it. Was it because I had my cell phone on my bedside table at night? Was it because I didn’t eat right? Was it because.... ? I finally needed to stop and accept that it just is, crap happens. Why me? Well, why not me. Just random. 

My brother and I used to visit a clothing store in Birmingham England with my mother which had a wonderful x-ray machine in its shoe department. While my mother purchased shoes, we used to play with the x-ray machine x-raying our feet, arms and hands. I cannot remember whether we actually attempted head x-rays but it would have been quite possible given that the use of the x-ray machine was unsupervised.

As old hands on the forum, or those who were at the patient day know, I'm pretty sure I know what caused mine. Aged 30 in 1987 I had a testicular cancer. Despite the fact there were no signs of spread, my oncologist proposed 15 sessions of radiotherapy. My CML diagnosis letter "noted my previous tumour diagnosis and subsequent radiotherapy".

From 2013 until DX on 12/31/15 I had dealt with severe emotional stress never experienced before. It affected me physically as well. I firmly believe this was trigger. Fortunately, after diagnosis, the source was no longer relevant. After all, what can someone do to you that’s worse then a cancer diagnosis? We always wonder why bad things happen. Maybe a blessing in disguise, life has been great since.

Wow,what a wealth of experiences has led us to this place!Thank you for all your responses,was most interesting to read...I think it all boils down to acceptance and doing all we can to manage our illness and to remain grateful that such an illness is now,manageable.God Bless everyone:)

I worked in the gas field for 28 years.  The first 20 years I was drenched in "drip gas" a by product of natural gas, benzene, hands in Safety clean, herbicides, ect....last 8 years I was measuring gas just coming out of the ground before it would go onto our transmission lines for transport.  The gas wells today are much deeper with today's technology.  The deeper you go into the earth the higher the radiation.  Scuba would definitely have knowledge on this.



Yes I come from the generation when as a child and went to a shoe shop your feet were always Xrayed to check the size needed for the new shoes. I thought it was fun and got a smartie afterwards but I have idly wondered if this caused the CML

Best to all


I grew up in a house in the NE USA that had high levels of radon gas in it.  At the time (circa 1970), radon testing wasn't required in houses so we didn't know it was there.  I spent countless hours in that basement, first remodeling it into a sort of rec room and then playing pool and ping pong, all the while inhaling all that scrumptious radon.  Some 40+ years later, my immune system finally succumbed to the CML.

Like others, I cannot prove this, but I am pretty sure this was the source for me. 

Hiya Tanya,we all have so many different stories and experiences to share  about our past as to why we may have this monster inside us but there is only one thing that we all have in common and that is STRESS.My Husband was made redundant ,then  I was made redundant ,we had to sell our house and downsize because we couldn't afford the up Keep of a large house.We bought a small bungalow that needed completely renovating which we knackered ourselves doing .My Husband then had to have a heart operation, I had a biopsy to check for thyroid cancer which was clear thank god.Surely this has to effect our body .Then I was diagnosed with CML which was a complete shock, I wasnt over weight ,I used to jog and exercise,I was fit I was never off work due to illness .Stress carries on in life, we have had 4 family members die since Christmas so CML carries on too .I have not been exposed to many xrays or scans in my lifetime or worked in a dangerous environment so who knows what the cause is.Denise.

I suspect something like stress or mental trauma for me too.

I had a personal crisis in 2013. It was devastating to me and it affected me both mentally and also indirect physically. I didn’t sleep, didn’t eat, struggled to perform at work, etc. Went from 77kg to 65kg...

I think somehow this caused, or at least played a part in it. I was diagnosed 5 years later, in 2018, and had very high WBC count and high BCR-ABL %.

Ironically, by 2018 I had been very happy for several years. 

Hi , i am not sure about the reasonbut i worked night shift for 2 years and with lot of work stress and irregular sleeping patterns could cause my illness . I have thought about this round and round but it doesnt give a good feelings of all the mistakes done which could have been prevented. - Andy

I wrote an article on this a while back.  While I now believe that there is no direct link between Benzene and CML (other blood cancers most definitely) it does show you how toxic we have allowed our environment to become.

As for CML, I now believe it was due to Formaldehyde exposure, again, another toxin that is almost everywhere.  One of the byproducts of burning natural gas is Formaldehyde and a few years before I was diagnosed I was using a natural gas fireplace in my home a lot.  There are many, many sources of Formaldehyde so check out the article to see if any were used in your home or place of work.

I stopped using the natural gas fireplace years ago after I learned of its toxic nature and I now use a ventilation system when using the natural gas oven in my home.  

Many of our foods and beverages also contain toxic chemicals linked to cancer:

Heaps of reading material here with excellent information!Thanks heaps for all of that!