Childhood Leukemia Overview

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What Is Leukemia in Children? TOPICS

How common is childhood 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 are acute myelogenous leukemia (AML).

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

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

Juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML) usually occurs in young children, with an average age of about 2.

Last Medical Review: 05/13/2015
Last Revised: 05/13/2015