ON THIS PAGE: You will find information about the number of people who are diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) each year. You will also read general information on surviving the disease. Remember, survival rates depend on several factors. Use the menu to see other pages.
ALL is a rare disease, making up less than half of 1% of cancers diagnosed in the United States. This year, an estimated 6,660 people of all ages (3,740 men and boys and 2,920 women and girls) in the United States will be diagnosed with ALL.
A person of any age can be diagnosed with ALL, but most cases occur in children. In children and teens under age 20, ALL is the most common type of leukemia, accounting for 75% of all leukemia diagnosed in this age group. Children younger than 5 have the highest risk of ALL. After a child grows into adulthood, the general risk of ALL rises again after age 50. About 4 out of every 10 people diagnosed with ALL are adults.
It is estimated that 1,560 deaths (880 men and boys and 680 women and girls) from ALL will occur in the United States this year. The majority (about 80%) will be in adults. Although the number of new ALL cases rose by 1% annually between 2007 and 2016, the death rate dropped 1% annually between 2008 and 2017.
The 5-year survival rate tells you what percent of people live at least 5 years after the cancer is found. Percent means how many out of 100. The 5-year survival rate for people age 20 and older is 40%. The 5-year survival rate for people under age 20 is 89%. Recent advances in treatment have significantly lengthened the lives of people with ALL. However, survival rates depend on several factors, including biologic features of the disease and a person’s age.
It is important to remember that statistics on the survival rates for people with ALL are an estimate. The estimate comes from annual data based on the number people with this cancer in the United States. Also, experts measure the survival statistics every 5 years. This means the estimate may not reflect the results of advancements in how ALL is diagnosed or treated from the last 5 years. Talk with your doctor if you have any questions about this information. Learn more about understanding statistics.
Statistics adapted from the American Cancer Society’s (ACS) publications, Cancer Facts & Figures 2022 and Cancer Facts & Figures 2020, and the ACS website. (All sources accessed January 2022.)
The next section in this guide is Medical Illustrations. It offers drawings of body parts often affected by ALL. Use the menu to choose a different section to read in this guide.