Statistics at a Glance
At a Glance
Estimated New Cases in 2018 60,300
% of All New Cancer Cases 3.5%
Estimated Deaths in 2018 24,370
% of All Cancer Deaths 4.0%
|Year||New Cases - SEER 9||New Cases - SEER 13||Deaths - U.S.||Percent Surviving 5 Years - SEER 9|
Number of New Cases and Deaths per 100,000: The number of new cases of leukemia was 13.8 per 100,000 men and women per year. The number of deaths was 6.7 per 100,000 men and women per year. These rates are age-adjusted and based on 2011-2015 cases and deaths.
Lifetime Risk of Developing Cancer: Approximately 1.5 percent of men and women will be diagnosed with leukemia at some point during their lifetime, based on 2013-2015 data.
Prevalence of This Cancer: In 2015, there were an estimated 405,815 people living with leukemia in the United States.
How Many People Survive 5 Years Or More after Being Diagnosed with 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 2008-2014. Gray figures represent those who have died from 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 cancers, leukemia is fairly common.
|Rank||Common Types of Cancer||Estimated New
|1.||Breast Cancer (Female)||266,120||40,920|
|2.||Lung and Bronchus Cancer||234,030||154,050|
|5.||Melanoma of the Skin||91,270||9,320|
|8.||Kidney and Renal Pelvis Cancer||65,340||14,970|
Leukemia represents 3.5% of all new cancer cases in the U.S.
In 2018, it is estimated that there will be 60,300 new cases of leukemia and an estimated 24,370 people will die of this disease.
Who Gets This Cancer?
Although leukemia is among the most common childhood cancers, it most often occurs in older adults. Leukemia is slightly more common in men than women. The number of new cases of leukemia was 13.8 per 100,000 men and women per year based on 2011-2015 cases.
|American Indian/Alaska Native||10.6|
|American Indian/Alaska Native||6.5|
SEER 18 2011-2015, Age-Adjusted
|Age Range||Percent of New Cases|
Leukemia is most frequently diagnosed among people aged 65-74.
SEER 18 2011-2015, All Races, Both Sexes
Who Dies From This Cancer?
Death rates from leukemia are higher among the elderly. People with leukemia have many treatment options, and treatment for leukemia can often control the disease and its symptoms. Leukemia is the seventh leading cause of cancer death in the United States. The number of deaths was 6.7 per 100,000 men and women per year based on 2011-2015 deaths.
|American Indian/Alaska Native||5.5|
|American Indian/Alaska Native||3.3|
U.S. 2011-2015, Age-Adjusted
|Age Range||Percent of Deaths|
The percent of leukemia deaths is highest among people aged 75-84.
U.S. 2011-2015, 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 leukemia cases have been rising on average 0.3% each year over the last 10 years. Death rates have been falling on average 1.5% each year over 2006-2015. 5-year survival trends are shown below.
New cases come from SEER 9 Incidence. Deaths come from U.S. Mortality. 1975-2015, All Races, Both Sexes. Rates are Age-Adjusted.
SEER 9 5-Year Relative Survival Percent from 1975-2010, All Races, Both Sexes.View Data Table
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:
Noone AM, Howlader N, 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, 1975-2015, National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, MD, https://seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2015/, based on November 2017 SEER data submission, posted to the SEER web site, April 2018.
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: Leukemia. National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, MD, https://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/leuks.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.