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The American Cancer Society’s estimates for acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) in the United States for 2016 (including both children and adults) are:

  • About 6,590 new cases of ALL (3,590 in males and 3,000 in females)
  • About 1,430 deaths from ALL (800 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 4 of every 10 cases of ALL 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 “Response rates to treatment for acute lymphocytic leukemia.”

Visit the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Statistics Center for more key statistics.

Last Medical Review: 12/02/2014
Last Revised: 02/18/2016