Types of leukemia

The two broad classifications of leukemia are acute (rapid progression) and chronic (slow progression). The acute leukemias are characterized by abnormal numbers of immature white cells (blasts). In chronic leukemia, mature white cells predominate. Acute leukemia is the most common type of cancer found in children. The two most common types of acute leukemia are acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML). AML is also known as acute non-lymphoblastic leukemia (ANLL).

The two types of chronic leukemia are chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) and juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML). Chronic leukemia accounts for less than 5 percent of all childhood leukemia.

Table 2-1. Types of Childhood Leukemia

Acute

Chronic

ALL (75%)

AML (20%)

CML (<5%)

JMML (<1%)

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