Leukemia--Acute Lymphocytic Overview

+ -Text Size

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

How many people get acute lymphocytic leukemia?

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

  • About 6,020 new cases ALL (adults and children)
  • About 1,440 deaths from ALL (adults and children)

The risk for getting ALL is highest in children under 5 years old. The risk then goes down slowly until the mid-20s, and begins to rise again slowly after age 50. Overall, about 1 case out of 3 of ALL is 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.

While most cases of ALL occur in children, most deaths from ALL (about 4 out of 5) occur in adults. Children may do better because of differences between childhood and adult ALL in the disease itself, differences in treatment (children’s bodies can often handle strong treatment better than adult's), or some combination of these.

Some information about treatment success rates for adult ALL can be found in the sectionSurvival rates for acute lymphocytic leukemia.”

Last Medical Review: 06/25/2013
Last Revised: 02/07/2014