Leukemia is cancer caused by abnormal white blood cells. These cells are produced in bone marrow and normally help the body fight infection.
The most common type of leukemia in children is acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). In this disease, the body produces too many lymphoblasts (a type of white blood cell) and they become cancerous.
Medical experts don’t know the specific cause of acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Some risk factors that may be involved include:
Common signs and symptoms of acute lymphoblastic leukemia can occur in other illnesses. You should see your pediatrician if your child has any of the following:
If your pediatrician suspects that your child has acute lymphoblastic leukemia, he or she will perform further tests to confirm a diagnosis:
Early treatment is important to ensure that your child can completely recover. Treatments that we recommend at Children’s National include:
Learn more about our Leukemia/Lymphoma Program at Children’s National.
111 Michigan Avenue, NW Washington, District of Columbia 20010
6565 Arlington Boulevard Suite 200 Falls Church, Virginia 22042
Christopher Melkonian was six years old when he came down with a low-grade fever and diffuse bone pain. Unsure of what was happening, his parents Darlene and David took him to Children’s National Health System and soon found out that Christopher had acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), a type of blood and bone marrow cancer that affects white blood cells.
We deliver comprehensive care for all blood cancers including chemotherapy, bone marrow transplant and experimental therapeutics.
Invest in future cures for some of life's most devastating diseases
Share your birthday with a child. Celebrate your life, and give a chance to someone who desperately wants to have as many as you.
"I am so thankful to the wonderful staff at Children's National...they make Serena feel like she is one in a million and always know how to help make her smile."
Read More of Serena's Story
Shana is an oncologist in the Leukemia/Lymphoma Program at Children's National.
Every year, our physicians and staff work with nearly 200 patients and families fighting leukemia and lymphoma. Treatment is a long and challenging process, but it is one that is highly effective and our team is here to support you throughout this process.
Our cancer and blood disorders team delivers comprehensive care, including novel treatments that are not yet widely available.