Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) is the most common type of childhood leukemia.1, 2
It is a rapidly progressing cancer that starts in the bone marrow and spreads into the blood.3 It represents 12 percent of all leukemia cases worldwide, and about 80 percent of childhood leukemia cases.4,5 However, the 5-year survival rate for children with ALL is now about 90 percent.6 In 2020 it is estimated that there will be more than 6,000 new cases of ALL in the United States.7
- Adolescent and Young Adult
The risk for developing ALL is highest in children younger than 5 years of age.
About 98% of children with ALL go into remission within weeks after starting treatment. About 90% of those children can be cured. Patients are considered cured after 10 years in remission.8
Leukemia is the leading cause of cancer death in both males and females ages 15-29 years.
About 4 of every 10 cases of ALL are in adults.
Most cases of ALL occur in children, but most deaths from ALL (about 4 out of 5) occur in adults.
While ALL is highly treatable, some patients may experience long-term effects or late effects from the disease and/or treatment.8,9 This is why survivorship in ALL begins the day of diagnosis and continues throughout life, even for a patient in remission. It is considered one of the most complex aspects of the cancer experience because it is different for every patient. Fortunately through coordination between patients’ oncologists and primary care physicians is essential for receiving the best care possible.
1 American Cancer Society. Leukemia in Children. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/leukemia-in-children.html. Accessed April 13, 2020.
2 Whitehead, Todd P et al. “Childhood Leukemia and Primary Prevention.” Current problems in pediatric and adolescent health care https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5161115/. Accessed April 13, 2020.
3 American Cancer Society. About Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL). https://www.cancer.org/cancer/acute-lymphocytic-leukemia/about/what-is-all.html. Accessed April 13, 2020.
4 RedaelliI, A., et al. A systematic literature review of the clinical and epidemiological burden of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). European Journal of Cancer Care. 2005. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1365-2354.2005.00513.x. Accessed April 13, 2020.
5 Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. https://www.dana-farber.org/childhood-acute-lymphoblastic-leukemia//. Accessed April 13, 2020.
6 American Cancer Society. Survival Rates for Childhood Leukemias. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/leukemia-in-children/detection-diagnosis-staging/survival-rates.html. Accessed April 13, 2020.
7 American Cancer Society. Key Statistics for Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL). https://www.cancer.org/cancer/acute-lymphocytic-leukemia/about/key-statistics.html. Accessed April 13, 2020.
8 St. Jude. Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). https://www.stjude.org/disease/acute-lymphoblastic-leukemia-all.html. Accessed August 12, 2020.
9 Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Follow-Up Care and Survivorship. https://www.lls.org/managing-your-cancer/follow-up-care-and-survivorship. Accessed April 13, 2020.