Blood cancer more likely to affect relatives of people who have it, study shows

Close relatives of people with blood cancer are more likely to be diagnosed with the disease themselves, a major study has found.

An international team, led out of the Institute of Cancer Research in London, examined diagnosis, birth and death records of more than 150,000 people with all types of blood cancer — such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma — in Sweden since 1958, and 391,131 of their parents, siblings and children.

The paper, published this month in the American Society of Hematology’s Blood journal, is the largest-ever population study on blood cancer.

Scientists believe the findings will pave the way to a genetic test for blood cancer, which would save lives through early diagnosis.

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