ON THIS PAGE: You will find information about the number of children and teens who are diagnosed with 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 only half of 1% of cancers diagnosed in the United States. This year, an estimated 6,150 people of all ages (3,470 men and boys and 2,680 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 people under age 20, ALL is the most common type of leukemia, accounting for 74% 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.
An estimated 1,520 deaths (860 men and boys and 660 women and girls) from ALL will occur this year. The vast majority 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.
Advances in treatment have dramatically lengthened the lives of people with ALL. 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 37%. The 5-year survival rate for people under age 20 is 89%. 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 of children and teens with this cancer in the United States. Also, experts measure the survival statistics every 5 years. So the estimate may not show the results of better diagnosis or treatment available for less than 5 years. Talk with your child’s doctor if you have any questions about this information. Learn more about understanding statistics.
Statistics adapted from the American Cancer Society’s (ACS) publication, Cancer Facts & Figures 2020 and the ACS website (January 2020).
The next section in this guide is Medical Illustrations. It offers drawings of body parts often affected by childhood ALL. Use the menu to choose a different section to read in this guide.