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Childhood Blood Cancer Facts and Statistics

Childhood Blood Cancers

  • From 2012 to 2016, the most recent 5 years for which data are available, leukemia and lymphoma accounted for 38.7 percent of all cancer types in children, adolescents and young adults younger than 20 years.
  • The most common types of cancer in children, adolescents and young adults younger than 20 years are leukemia (24.7 percent), cancers of the brain and other nervous tissue (17.2 percent), NHL (7.5 percent), HL (6.5 percent), and soft tissue (5.9 percent).
  • The age-adjusted incidence rate of leukemia and lymphoma in children, adolescents and young adults younger than 20 years was 7.2 per 100,000 (leukemia, 4.6 and lymphoma, 2.6).
  • Leukemia is the second leading cause of cancer deaths (after cancers of the brain and other nervous tissue) among children, adolescents and young adults younger than 20 years. This accounts for 26.1 percent of all cancer-related deaths among this age-group
  • From 2012-2016, 4.8 percent of all leukemia and lymphoma cases were diagnosed in children, adolescents and young adults younger than 20 years.
  • From 2012-2016, 3.5 percent of all blood cancers (leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma, MDS and MPNs*) were diagnosed in children, adolescents and young adults younger than 20 years.

*Myeloma, MDS and MPNs are not commonly diagnosed in children, adolescents and young adults younger than age 20.

 

Leukemia

New Cases, Incidence and Prevalence

  • From 2012 to 2016, leukemia represented 24.7 percent of all types of cancer occurring among children, adolescents and young adults younger than 20 years.
  • ALL is the most common cancer in children, adolescents and young adults younger than 20 years, accounting for 18.8 percent of all cancer cases in this age-group.
  • An average of 3,718 children and adolescents younger than 20 years were diagnosed with leukemia each year (including 2,761 diagnosed with ALL) in the US from 2012
    to 2016.

Survival and Deaths

  • From 2009 to 2015, the 5-year relative survival rates overall were 
    • Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) - 68.7 percent for children and adolescents younger than 15 years 
    • Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) - 91.9 percent for children and adolescents younger than 15 years, and 94.1 percent for children younger than 5 years
  • The leukemia age-adjusted death rate for children, adolescents and young adults younger than 20 years in the US has declined by 78.6 percent from 2.8 per 100,000 population in 1969 to 0.6 per 100,000 population in 2016.
    • Despite this decline, leukemia is the second leading cause of cancer death among children, adolescents and young adults younger than 20 years, accounting for 26.1 percent of all cancer deaths in this age group.


 

Hodgkin Lymphoma (HL) and Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL)

New Cases, Incidence and Prevalence

  • Lymphoma (HL, 6.5 percent; NHL, 7.5 percent) is the third most common cancer in children, adolescents and young adults younger than 20 years.
  • In 2020, lymphoma will account for 8 percent (HL, 3 percent; NHL, 5 percent) of all cancers expected to be diagnosed in children and adolescents younger than 15 years.
  • In 2020, the number of cases expected to be diagnosed in children and adolescents younger than 15 years is 332 for HL and 553 for NHL.
  • In children younger than 15 years, the age-adjusted incidence rate for NHL (1.2 per 100,000) is higher than for HL (0.6 per 100,000).
  • In adolescents and young adults between the ages of 15 and 29, the age-adjusted incidence rate for HL (3.9 per 100,000) is higher than for NHL (2.7 per 100,000).
  • In young adults ages 30 to 34, NHL incidence (4.9 per 100,000) is higher than HL incidence (3.6 per 100,000).

Survival and Deaths

  • Five-year relative survival is 97.6 percent for HL in children, adolescents and young adults younger than 20 years.
  • In children, adolescents and young adults younger than 20 years, 5-year relative survival for NHL is 90.3 percent. This represents a significant improvement in the rate of survival. As recently as the mid-1970s, most children and adolescents with NHL did not survive 5 years after they were diagnosed (44.6 percent in 1975 to 1977).
  • For children, adolescents and young adults under 20 years, age-adjusted death rates for HL and NHL per 100,000 population declined from 1975 to 2015.
    • For HL, the rate was 0.1 in 1975 vs 0.0* in 2016.
    • For NHL, the rate was 0.4 in 1975 vs 0.1 in 2016.

*Statistic not reported due to fewer than 16 deaths.

 

 

Source: 

  • Facts 2019-2020Facts 2019-2020 provides updates from the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Facts & Figures 2020 (published online in 2020, https://www.cancer.org/research/cancer-facts-statistics.html) for estimated numbers of new blood cancer cases and estimated numbers of deaths due to blood cancers. The incidence rates, prevalence and mortality data in Facts 2019-2020 reflect the statistics from the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) Program, Cancer Statistics Review (CSR) 1975-2016 (published online in April 2019, www.seer.cancer.gov). National incidence counts are generated from the United States Cancer Statistics (USCS) Public Use Database for 2001-2016 (www.cdc.gov/cancer/uscs/public-use/). Incidence rates by state are provided by the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries, Cancer in North America: 2012-2016 (published online in May 2019, www.naaccr.org).