Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL)
Childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a type of cancer in which the bone marrow makes too many immature lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell).
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Childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (also called acute lymphocytic leukemia or ALL) is a cancer of the blood and bone marrow. This type of cancer usually gets worse quickly if it is not treated. It is the most common type of cancer in children.
Normally, the bone marrow makes blood stem cells (immature cells) that develop into mature blood cells over time. A blood stem cell may become a myeloid stem cell or a lymphoid stem cell.
The myeloid stem cell develops into one of three types of mature blood cells:
The lymphoid stem cell develops into a lymphoblast cell and then into one of three types of lymphocytes (white blood cells):
In ALL, too many stem cells develop into lymphoblasts and do not mature to become lymphocytes. These lymphoblasts are called leukemia cells. The leukemia cells do not work like normal lymphocytes and are not able to fight infection very well. Also, as the number of leukemia cells increases in the blood and bone marrow, there is less room for healthy white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. This may lead to infection, anemia, and easy bleeding.
There are subgroups of childhood ALL.
There are different subgroups of ALL based on the following:
Reviewed on 2/3/2012
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Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia - Experience Question: Please describe your experience with childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia - Family History Question: If your child has ALL, is there a family history or exposure to radiation? Please share your story.
Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia - Signs Question: What were your child's signs and symptoms associated with ALL?
Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia - Diagnosis Question: Please describe the tests that led to a diagnosis of ALL.
Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia - Treatment Question: What types of treatment has your child experienced for ALL?
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