What Is Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia?

What Is Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia?

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a type of blood cancer that starts in white blood cells in your bone marrow, the soft inner part of your bones. It develops from immature lymphocytes, a kind of white blood cell that’s key to your immune system.

ALL is also known as acute lymphocytic leukemia or acute lymphoid leukemia. ”Acute” means it gets worse quickly. It’s a rare type of leukemia, or blood cancer, in adults but the most common type in children.

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia invades your blood and can spread to other organs, such as your liver, spleen, and lymph nodes. But it usually doesn’t make tumors like other types of cancer.

Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Causes and Risk Factors

Doctors don’t know what causes most cases of ALL. But research has found that certain things might raise your risk, including:

  • Contact with high levels of radiation to treat other types of cancer
  • Contact with chemicals such as benzene, a solvent used in oil refineries and other industries and found in cigarette smoke; and some cleaning products, detergents, and paint strippers
  • Infection with the human T-cell lymphoma/leukemia virus-1 (HTLV-1) or the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), mostly outside the U.S.
  • Having a medical condition that’s tied to your genes, such as Down syndrome
  • Being white
  • Being male
ALSO READ  Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Treatment


Most read