Childhood Leukemia Overview

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What Is Leukemia in Children? TOPICS

How many children get leukemia?

Leukemia is the most common cancer in children and teens. It accounts for almost 1 in 3 cancers in children. Even so, childhood leukemia is a rare disease.

About 3 out of 4 leukemias among children and teens are acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL). Most of the rest of the cases are acute myelogenous leukemia (AML).

ALL is most common in early childhood, peaking in children between 2 and 4 years old. Cases of AML are more spread out across the childhood years, although it is slightly more common during the first 2 years of life and during the teenage years.

Chronic leukemia is rare in children. Most of these are chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), which tends to occur more in teens than in younger children.

Last Medical Review: 11/11/2013
Last Revised: 02/03/2014