Leukemia - B-cell Prolymphocytic Leukemia and Hairy Cell Leukemia: Statistics

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 01/2022

ON THIS PAGE: You will find information about the number of people who are diagnosed with leukemia 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.

This year, an estimated 60,650 people of all ages (35,810 men and boys and 24,840 women and girls) in the United States will be diagnosed with leukemia. Worldwide, an estimated 474,519 people were diagnosed with leukemia in 2020.

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is the most common type of leukemia in adults 20 years and older, accounting for 38% of U.S. cases. An estimated 20,160 people (12,630 men and boys and 7,530 women and girls) in the United States will be diagnosed with CLL this year, though CLL is rare in children.

It is estimated that 4,410 deaths (2,730 men and 1,680 women) from CLL will occur in the United States this year.

There are no current estimates for how many people develop prolymphocytic leukemia (PLL). Around 700 people are diagnosed with hairy cell leukemia (HCL) each year in the United States.

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 with CLL is 87%. 

It is important to remember that statistics on the survival rates for people with leukemia are an estimate. The estimate comes from annual data based on the number of people with leukemia 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 leukemia 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) publication, Cancer Facts & Figures 2022, the ACS website, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer website. (All sources accessed January 2022.)

The next section in this guide is Risk Factors. It describes the factors that may increase the chance of developing leukemia. Use the menu to choose a different section to read in this guide.