Statistics at a Glance
At a Glance
|Year||New Cases - SEER 9||New Cases - SEER 13||Deaths - U.S.||Percent Surviving 5 Years - SEER 9|
|Observed||Modeled Trend||Observed||Modeled Trend||Observed||Modeled Trend||Observed||Modeled Trend|
Modeled trend lines were calculated from the underlying rates using the Joinpoint Trend Analysis Software.
Number of New Cases and Deaths per 100,000: The number of new cases of childhood leukemia was 4.6 per 100,000 children per year. The number of deaths was 0.6 per 100,000 children per year. These rates are age-adjusted and based on 2012-2016 cases and deaths.
How Many People Survive 5 Years Or More after Being Diagnosed with Childhood Leukemia?
Relative survival statistics compare the survival of patients diagnosed with cancer with the survival of people in the general population who are the same age, race, and sex and who have not been diagnosed with cancer. Because survival statistics are based on large groups of people, they cannot be used to predict exactly what will happen to an individual patient. No two patients are entirely alike, and treatment and responses to treatment can vary greatly.
Based on data from SEER 18 2009-2015. Gray figures represent those who have died from childhood leukemia. Green figures represent those who have survived 5 years or more.
Number of New Cases and Deaths
How Common Is This Cancer?
Compared to other childhood cancers, childhood leukemia is fairly common.
|Rank||Common Types of Childhood Cancer||New Cases
|2.||Brain and Other Nervous System||3.2||0.7|
|6.||Soft Tissue including Heart||1.1||0.2|
|8.||Bone and Joint||1.0||0.2|
|9.||Kidney and Renal Pelvis||0.7||0.1|
Childhood leukemia represents 24.9% of all new childhood cancer cases.
SEER 21 Incidence & U.S. Mortality 2012-2016, Ages 0-19. Rates are Age-Adjusted
Who Gets This Cancer?
The number of new cases of childhood leukemia was 4.6 per 100,000 children per year based on 2012-2016 cases.
|American Indian/Alaska Native||4.3|
|American Indian/Alaska Native||2.6|
SEER 21 2012-2016, Age-Adjusted
|Age Range||Percent of New Cases|
Childhood leukemia is most frequently diagnosed among children aged 1-4.
SEER 21 2012-2016, All Races, Both Sexes
Who Dies From This Cancer?
The number of deaths was 0.6 per 100,000 children per year based on 2012-2016 deaths.
|American Indian/Alaska Native||Not Shown, <16 cases|
|American Indian/Alaska Native||Not Shown, <16 cases|
U.S. 2012-2016, Age-Adjusted
|Age Range||Percent of Deaths|
The percent of childhood leukemia deaths is highest among children aged 15-19.
U.S. 2012-2016, All Races, Both Sexes
Trends in Rates
Changes Over Time
Keeping track of the number of new cases, deaths, and survival over time (trends) can help scientists understand whether progress is being made and where additional research is needed to address challenges, such as improving screening or finding better treatments.
Using statistical models for analysis, rates for new childhood leukemia cases have been rising on average 0.7% each year over the last 10 years. Death rates have been falling on average 3.0% each year over 2007-2016. 5-year survival trends are shown below.
More About This Cancer
Cancer and the Blood
Figure: Stem cells maturing into one of three types of mature blood cells: red blood cells, platelets, and white blood cells. Precursor cells are also shown: stem cells, myeloid blasts, lymphoid stem cells, and lymphoid blasts.
Leukemia is cancer that starts in the tissue that forms blood. Most blood cells develop from cells in the bone marrow called stem cells. In a person with leukemia, the bone marrow makes abnormal white blood cells. The abnormal cells are leukemia cells. Unlike normal blood cells, leukemia cells don't die when they should. They may crowd out normal white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. This makes it hard for normal blood cells to do their work. The four main types of leukemia are:
- Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)
- Acute myelogenous leukemia (AML)
- Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)
- Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML)
Here are some resources for learning more about leukemia.
All statistics in this report are based on statistics from SEER and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics. Most can be found within:
Howlader N, Noone AM, Krapcho M, Miller D, Brest A, Yu M, Ruhl J, Tatalovich Z, Mariotto A, Lewis DR, Chen HS, Feuer EJ, Cronin KA (eds). SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2016, National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, MD, https://seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2016/, based on November 2018 SEER data submission, posted to the SEER web site, April 2019.
All material in this report is in the public domain and may be reproduced or copied without permission; citation as to source, however, is appreciated.
SEER Cancer Stat Facts: Childhood Leukemia. National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, MD, https://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/childleuk.html
These stat facts focus on population statistics that are based on the U.S. population. Because these statistics are based on large groups of people, they cannot be used to predict exactly what will happen to an individual patient. To see tailored statistics, browse the SEER Cancer Statistics Review. To see statistics for a specific state, go to the State Cancer Profiles.
The statistics presented in these stat facts are based on the most recent data available, most of which can be found in the SEER Cancer Statistics Review. In some cases, different year spans may be used. Estimates for the current year are based on past data.
Cancer is a complex topic. There is a wide range of information available. These stat facts do not address causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, follow-up care, or decision making, although links are provided to information in many of these areas.