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. It is separated into two groups based on the type of lymphocyte the leukemia started in. That would be B cells or T cells. About 8 out of 10 cases of ALL in children are B-cell ALLs. These can be further classified into sub-types. The other 2 out of 10 cases are T-cell ALLs.
Learn more about our Leukemia/Lymphoma Program at Children’s National Hospital.
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:
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 Hospital and soon found out that Christopher had acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), a type of blood and bone marrow cancer that affects white blood cells.
Marco Gutierrez, a 19-year-old from Potomac, MD., was enjoying dinner with family and friends after a University of Michigan football game when pain started to pulse through his chest and back.
When Chris's parents noticed he had lingering pain and swollen lymph nodes, they knew it was time to take him to the doctor.
Saved by a bone marrow donation from her brother, Davis, and strengthened by a personalized T-cell therapy post transplant, Molly’s life is back on track and she’s dancing again.
We deliver comprehensive care for all blood cancers including chemotherapy, bone marrow transplant and experimental therapeutics.
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Just before Christmas, Nkenge and Tanya took their 2-year-old daughter Kensley to the Emergency Department because she was complaining of stomach pain and they could feel a bulge in her abdomen. Kensley was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma and continues to received treatment from Amy Hont, M.D., and the multidisciplinary team of surgeons, gynecologists and radiation oncologists at Children's National.
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