According to the American Cancer Society, some 43,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with leukemia each year. This includes about:

  • 15,000 cases of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), most in older adults
  • 13,500 cases of acute myeloid leukemia (AML), most in adults
  • 6,000 cases of acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), about one in three in adults
  • 5,000 cases of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), most in older adults

Leukemia is cancer of blood-forming tissue such as the bone marrow, the sponge-like material inside some bones. In healthy bone marrow, blood cells form and mature, then move into the bloodstream. Types of leukemia are grouped by the type of cell affected and by the rate of cell growth. Leukemia is either acute or chronic.

In leukemia, the normal production of blood cells changes. The bone marrow starts making too many abnormal, immature cells, called blasts or lymphoblasts, which crowd out other blood cells in the blood marrow, blood stream and lymph system. They can travel to other places in the body, including lymph glands and the spleen.

At Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center, our goal is to treat Leukemia by developing a customized plan for each patient based on his or her unique needs.

Using a comprehensive team approach, we work together to give you customized care that includes the most-advanced diagnostic methods and treatments. Our highly skilled physicians, nurses and staff provide excellent and compassionate medical care, education and support to meet your needs throughout and after treatment.

Learn More About Leukemia


There are many different types of leukemia. Some are fast-growing and aggressive, others are slower to progress. Leukemias are also classified based on the type of blood cells affected.

Learn about the types of Leukemia

Risk Factors

Cancer risk factors include exposure to chemicals or other substances, as well as certain behaviors. They also include things people cannot control, like age and family history.

Leukemia risk factors


Most cancers have the same symptoms as other, less serious conditions. Still, it’s important to know the signs.

Leukemia symptoms


Common cancer treatments include chemotherapy, radiation treatment and surgery. Doctors select the treatment for leukemia based on your diagnosis and disease stage.

Leukemia treatment