You can't prevent Fanconi anemia (FA) because it's an inherited disease. If a child gets two copies of the same faulty FA gene, he or she will have the disease.
If you're at high risk for FA and are planning to have children, you may want to consider genetic counseling. A counselor can help you understand your risk of having a child who has FA and help explain the choices that are available to you.
If you're already pregnant, genetic testing can show whether your child has FA.
In the United States, Ashkenazi Jews (Jews of Eastern European descent) are at higher risk of FA than the general population. For Ashkenazi Jews, it's recommended that prospective parents get tested for FA-related gene mutations before getting pregnant.
If you or your child has FA, you can prevent certain complications linked to the disorder. Pneumonia, hepatitis, and chicken pox can occur more often and more severely in people who have FA compared to those who don't. Talk to your doctor about getting yourself or your child vaccinated for these conditions.
If you or your child has FA, you're more likely to develop certain types of cancer than people who don't have FA. For example, people who have FA are at increased risk for leukemia (a type of blood cancer), myelodysplastic syndrome (abnormal levels of all three types of blood cells), and liver cancer. Screening and early detection are important for managing these life-threatening diseases.
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