Leukemia--Acute Lymphocytic

+ -Text Size

What Is Leukemia - Acute Lymphocytic (ALL) in Adults? TOPICS

What are the key statistics about acute lymphocytic leukemia?

The American Cancer Society’s estimates for acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) in the United States for 2014 (including both children and adults) are:

  • About 6,020 new cases of ALL (3,140 in males and 2,880 in females)
  • About 1,440 deaths from ALL (810 in males and 630 in females)

The risk for developing ALL is highest in children younger than 5 years of age. The risk then declines slowly until the mid-20s, and begins to rise again slowly after age 50. Overall, about one third of ALL cases are in adults.

The average person’s lifetime risk of getting ALL is less than 1 in 750. The risk is slightly higher in males than in females, and higher in whites than in African Americans.

Most cases of ALL occur in children, but most deaths from ALL (about 4 out of 5) occur in adults. Children may do better because of differences in childhood and adult ALL in the disease itself, differences in treatment (children’s bodies can often handle aggressive treatment better than adult’s), or some combination of these. Some information on treatment success rates for adult ALL can be found in the section “Response rates to treatment for acute lymphocytic leukemia.”


Last Medical Review: 07/10/2013
Last Revised: 02/07/2014