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Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

The information in this section about acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) can help you talk with members of your healthcare team and take an active role in your treatment. Knowing what to expect and being able to make informed decisions about your cancer treatment are important aspects of coping with your disease. You can skim sections to find what you want to read now - and continue reading whenever you're ready for more information.

What You Should Know

  • ALL is also called acute lymphocytic leukemia and acute lymphoid leukemia.
  • ALL is the most common type of cancer in children from 1 to 7 years old.
  • ALL is the most common type of leukemia in children from infancy up to age 19.
  • ALL affects the blood cells and immune system.
  • There are several ALL subtypes.
  • The type of treatment you receive and your treatment outcome depend on your ALL subtype and individual risk factors.
  • Overall survival statistics for people with ALL are 66.4 percent (all ages) and 90.8 percent for children under 5 years old, according to the National Cancer Institute.

What You Should Do

  • Seek treatment in a cancer center where doctors are experienced in treating patients with acute leukemia.
  • Talk with your doctor about your diagnostic tests and what the results mean.
  • Talk with your doctor about all your treatment options and the results you can expect from treatment. 

What Is ALL?

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a cancer of the bone marrow and blood that progresses rapidly without treatment. That's why it's important to start treatment soon after diagnosis.

Most children with ALL are cured of their disease after treatment. The numbers of adults and their remission lengths have grown significantly over the past 30 years.

Source: Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Reviewed by Richard A. Larson, MD.

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last updated on Friday, August 30, 2013
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