Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia - Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) is a type of blood cancer.
Other names for ALL are acute lymphoblastic leukemia and
acute lymphoid leukemia.
About 5,430 people in the United States are expected to be
diagnosed with ALL in 2008. It is the most common type of
leukemia in children under age 15. The risk of getting ALL
increases in people ages 45 and older. However, people can
get ALL at any age.
Most children with ALL are cured of their disease after
ALL starts with a change to a single cell in the bone marrow. Scientists are studying the exact genetic changes that cause a normal cell to become an ALL cell.
Few factors have been associated with an increased risk of developing ALL. Exposure to high doses of radiation therapy used to treat other types of cancer is one known risk factor. Other possible risk factors are continually under study. ALL is not contagious (catching).
ALL occurs at different rates in different geographic locations. There are higher rates in more developed countries and in higher socioeconomic groups. Scientists continue to explore possible relationships with life-style or environmental factors but no firm conclusions have yet been reached. This suggests that many factors may be involved. At the present time there is no known way to prevent the disease.
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
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White Plains, NY 10605
or call the Information Resource Center at (800) 955-4572.