Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL)

Also known as: acute lymphoblastic lymphoma, ALL.

What is leukemia?

There are several types of Leukemia. Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), also called acute lymphoblastic leukemia, is the most common cancer and the most common leukemia affecting children. It is a cancer that affects the bone marrow and subsequently, the blood. When the bone marrow produces abnormal white blood cells, those cells take over the normal cells that cannot be produced or function any longer. The normal blood cells are white cells that fight infection, red cells that carry oxygen and platelets that help with clotting.  Without those healthy cells, the child will be prone to infection, will not have energy and will be bleeding. 

What causes leukemia? 

The cause of Leukemia is unknown, specifically in children. Leukemia sometimes is associated with a change in several  genes. Being exposed to radiation or certain chemicals or having certain other illnesses can put the child at a greater risk of getting leukemia.

What are the symptoms of leukemia? 

People with leukemia may experience weakness, fatigue, fever, weight loss, bleeding or bruising and red spots on the skin, sweating, or bone pain.

What are leukemia care options? 

Chemotherapy is the most common treatment for ALL, with a more than 80 percent cure rate. Blood or marrow transplantation may be considered for children with high-risk disease, or for those with recurrent disease.


Reviewed by: Kamar Godder, MD

This page was last updated on: September 09, 2020 11:08 AM

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