Key Statistics for Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL)

The American Cancer Society’s estimates for acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) in the United States for 2020 (including both children and adults) are:

  • About 6,150 new cases of ALL (3,470 in males and 2,680 in females)
  • About 1,520 deaths from ALL (860 in males and 660 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.

ALL is not a common cancer, accounting for less than half of 1% of all cancers in the United States. The average person’s lifetime risk of getting ALL is about 1 in 1,000. 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 than adults because of differences in the nature of childhood and adult ALL, differences in treatment (children’s bodies can often handle aggressive treatment better than adult’s), or some combination of these.

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

The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team

Our team is made up of doctors and oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.

American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures 2020. Atlanta, Ga: American Cancer Society; 2020.

Appelbaum FR. Chapter 98: Acute Leukemias in Adults. In: Niederhuber JE, Armitage JO, Dorshow JH, Kastan MB, Tepper JE, eds. Abeloff’s Clinical Oncology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa. Elsevier: 2014.

National Cancer Institute. SEER Cancer Stat Facts: Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL). Accessed at https://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/alyl.html on July 18, 2018.

Last Medical Review: October 17, 2018 Last Revised: January 8, 2020

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