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Childhood Leukemia

Leukemia is the most common childhood cancer, affecting more than 3,500 children in the U.S. every year. Leukemia affects two types of white blood cells that are responsible for protecting the body from disease: lymphocytes and granulocytes. Leukemias that affect lymphocytes are known as “lymphocytic” or "lymphoblastic," and those that affect granulocytes are called “myeloid” or “myelogenous” leukemias. 

Leukemia is also classified as either acute or chronic. 

Acute leukemia: White blood cells are released from the bone marrow into the bloodstream before they mature, where they reproduce rapidly. 

Chronic leukemia: The white blood cells are a bit more mature when released from the bone marrow, and multiply at a much slower rate.

If your child has been diagnosed with leukemia, we’re here to help. Call 1-877-632-6789 to make an appointment or request an appointment online.

Why Choose MD Anderson?

  • The Children’s Cancer Hospital is within the No. 1 cancer center in America
  • Access to novel therapies and state-of-the-art technologies before most children’s hospitals
  • We see more types of cancer than any other children’s hospital in Texas
  • Family-centered care that actively involves parents in their child’s treatment
  • A strong cancer research program focused on developing new therapies for pediatric patients
  • Comprehensive support services such as an accredited school program, creative arts, child life and career counseling
  • An Adolescent and Young Adult Program that specializes in the unique medical and psychological needs of patients aged 15-25

Childhood Leukemia Knowledge Center

Treatment at MD Anderson

Childhood leukemia is treated in our Children's Cancer Hospital by our expert team.

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Denzel Persad

"They’re really dedicated to the kids. That’s just MD Anderson." –Denzel's mom, Ava

Childhood Leukemia Survivor Denzel Persad

Childhood Leukemia Facts

Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) is the most common leukemia seen in children, accounting for 75% of all pediatric cases. ALL occurs in two distinct age groups: infants under three years of age, and young teenagers.

Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML) strikes both children and adults. About 20% of childhood leukemia cases are AML.

Juvenile Myelomonocytic Leukemia (JMML) is a rare disease that mostly strikes children under four years of age. About 15% of JMML cases occur in children with neurofibromatosis type 1, a genetic disorder that is also treated at the Children's Cancer Hospital.

If your child has been diagnosed with leukemia, we’re here to help. Call 1-877-632-6789 to make an appointment or request an appointment online.


© 2014 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center