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Can Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL) Be Found Early?

For many types of cancers, finding the cancer early makes it easier to treat. The American Cancer Society recommends screening tests for early detection of certain cancers in people without any symptoms.

But at this time there are no special tests recommended to detect acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) early. The best way to find leukemia early is to report any possible signs or symptoms of leukemia (see Signs and symptoms of acute lymphoblastic leukemia) to the doctor right away.

For people at increased risk of ALL

Some people are known to have a higher risk of ALL (or other leukemias) because of a genetic disorder such as Down syndrome, or because they were previously treated with certain chemotherapy drugs or radiation. Most doctors recommend that these people have careful, regular medical checkups. The risk of leukemia, although greater than in the general population, is still very low for most of these people.


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 editors and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.

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.

Jain N, Gurbuxani S, Rhee C, Stock W. Chapter 65: Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in Adults. In: Hoffman R, Benz EJ, Silberstein LE, Heslop H, Weitz J, Anastasi J, eds. Hematology: Basic Principles and Practice. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier; 2013.

Last Revised: October 17, 2018

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