Childhood Blood Cancers
- Leukemia is the most common type of cancer in children ages 0 to 19 years, accounting for 27 percent of all cases.
- An estimated 3,811 children younger than 15 years old will be diagnosed with leukemia in the United States in 2011.
- About 34 percent of cancer cases of cancer cases in children aged 0 to 14 years are leukemia.
- Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is the most common cancer in children aged 1 to 7 years old.
- The incidence of ALL among 1- to 4-year olds is nearly eight times greater than the rate for young adults aged 20 to 24 years old.
- Survival statistics have improved significantly over the past four decades. Most children under 19 with ALL will become five-year survivors of the disease.
- ALL incidence is higher in children from 0 to 14 years old than it is in people aged 15 years old through adulthood.
- Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) incidence is lower in children from 0 to 14 years old than it is in people aged 15 years old through young adulthood.
- In 2004 to 2008, among 15- to 19-year-olds, ALL incidence was more than twice that of AML.
- In 25- to 29-year-olds, AML incidence was 57 percent higher than that of ALL.
Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Incidence
- Lymphoma (Hodgkin lymphoma, 7.1 percent, and NHL, 6.5 percent) is the third most common cancer in children, following leukemia (27 percent).
- In children younger than 20, lymphoma is most commonly diagnosed in whites (2.44 per 100,000), followed by black children (2.34 per 100,000) and Hispanic children (1.96 per 100,000).
- NHL is rarest among American Indian and Alaskan native children (0.69 per 100,000).
- In children, the highest incidence rates of NHL are in black children from ages 15 to 19 years (2.11 per 100,000).
- In 2011, children younger than 15 years will comprise 4 percent of all NHL cases expected to be diagnosed.
Hodgkin Lymphoma Incidence
- The incidence of Hodgkin lymphoma among young people under 20 years of age was 1.2 per 100,000 children in 2008. The incidence in this group has remained fairly consistent between 1975 and 2007, with the exception of a significant decrease in incidence in 1995 and 2005 (0.9 percent, each of these years).
- Lymphoma is the third most common cancer in children (Hodgkin lymphoma, 7.1 percent; NHL, 6.5 percent).
- Older children and teenagers are more commonly diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma than young children.
- In 2011, children younger than 15 years will comprise more than 4 percent of all cases of Hodgkin lymphoma expected to be diagnosed.
Leukemia Incidence by Race and Ethnicity
- Leukemia rates are substantially higher for Hispanic, American Indian/Alaskan natives, white and Asian and Pacific Islander children and adolescents than for black children and adolescents.
- Hispanic children and adolescents under the age of 20 years have the highest rates of leukemia.
NHL Incidence by Race and Ethnicity
In children, the highest incidence rates of NHL are in black children from ages 15 to 19 years (2.11 per 100,000).
Hodgkin Lymphoma Incidence by Race and Ethnicity
- From ages 15 to 19 years, more non-Hispanic whites are diagnosed with HL than adolescents of other races or ethnic groups.
- From ages 0 to 14 years, American Indian, Alaska Native, Asian and Pacific Islander children and adolescents have the lowest rates of HL.
Leukemia Survival and Deaths
- From 2001 to 2007, the five-year relative survival rates for children were:
- ALL, 91.5 percent for children younger than 5 years and 90.5 percent for children and adolescents younger than 15 years
- AML, 63.6 percent for children and adolescents under 15 years old
- The leukemia death rate for children ages 0 to 14 years in the United States has declined 77 percent from 1969 to 2007.
- Despite this decline, leukemia causes more deaths than any other cancer among children, adolescents and young adults less than age 20.
- About 440 children and adolescents under 15 years are expected to die from leukemia in 2011.
In children 0 to 19 years of age, the five-year relative survival for NHL is 84.7 percent. This represents a significant improvement in the rate of recovery. As recently as the mid-1970s, most children with NHL did not live five years after they were diagnosed.
Hodgkin Lymphoma Survival
- The five-year relative survival is 96 percent for Hodgkin lymphoma in adolescents ages 15-19.
- The five-year relative survival is 95.6 percent for Hodgkin lymphoma in children and adolescents aged 0 to 14 years.
Childhood blood cancer facts and statistics from Facts 2012.