Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a type of cancer in which the bone marrow makes too many immature lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell. Also called acute lymphocytic leukemia, this form of cancer usually gets worse quickly if it is not treated.

ALL is the most common type of cancer in children. There are approximately 3,100 children and adolescents younger than 20 diagnosed with ALL each year in the United States, according to National Cancer Institute data. Family history and being exposed to radiation may affect the risk of having childhood ALL.

In patients with ALL, the leukemia cells do not work like normal lymphocytes and are not able to fight infection very well. Moreover, as the number of leukemia cells increases in the blood and bone marrow, there is less room for healthy white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets., This may lead to infection, anemia, and easy bleeding.

Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Treatment (PDQ®)

Source: National Cancer Institute