What is the likelihood of me getting Leukaemia or cancer?

My older sister was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia this year, I was luckily a match for her and she is closing in on 100 days post transplant.

I have been trying to find out if I am at a greater risk of falling ill with either Leukaemia or cancer in the future, and wondered if anyone knew the answer?

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  • Whilst I have no knowledge of the chance of getting cancer if a sibling already is so diagnosed, I do know that the odds of getting cancer and dying of it is generally is about one in three and rising. The odds are worse if you are obese, don't exercise much, smoke, eat lots of processed meat, or eat few green vegetables.

    Some cancer rates are falling, some rising. The chances of having cancer rises with age. The chances of surviving longer with cancer are increasing - so if you do have cancer, you are likely to live longer now than decades ago.

    Some cancers are known to run in families, but I don't think AML is one of these. A good source of scientific information on cancer is ncin.org.uk/home.aspx

    It is thought that people actually get cancer much more than this, if cancer is defined as cells going rogue and multiplying differently than their mother cell, but that the body's natural defenses normally deal with this before it is noticeable. Many people with cancer die of something else (sometimes only discovered at autopsy).

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