Survival statistics for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) | Cancer Research UK
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Survival statistics for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL)

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Survival statistics for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL). There is information about


A quick guide to what's on this page

Statistics and outlook for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia

Outlook means your chances of getting better. Your doctor may call this your prognosis. The likely outcome with ALL depends on several things, including how advanced the leukaemia is when it is diagnosed, the type of ALL you have, and how well it responds to chemotherapy. Children tend to do better than adults.

Further down this page we have quite detailed information about the likely outcome of ALL. The statistics are intended as a general guide only. For the more complete picture in your case, you’d have to speak to your own leukaemia specialist.

We include statistics because people ask for them, but not everyone wishes to read this type of information. If you don't want to read this, you can skip to the information about chemotherapy for ALL.

How reliable are cancer statistics?

No statistics can tell you what will happen to you. Your leukaemia is unique. The statistics cannot tell you about the different treatments people may have had, or how that treatment may have affected their prognosis. There are many individual factors that will affect your treatment and your outlook.


CR PDF Icon You can view and print the quick guides for all the pages in the treating ALL section.


Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia survival

Find out about survival for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL).

People ask us for this information but not everyone with cancer wants to read it. So, if you aren’t sure whether you want to know at the moment, you can come back to it later.

These are general statistics based on large groups of patients. They can’t tell you what will happen in your individual case.

No one can tell you exactly how long you’ll live with ALL. It depends on your individual situation, treatment and level of fitness.

Your doctor can give you more information about your own outlook (prognosis). Or you can talk to the Cancer Research UK nurses on freephone 0808 800 4040, from 9 to 5, Monday to Friday.


Survival statistics for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia

This section is about acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL). There is a separate section for statistics about acute myeloid leukaemia.

No UK-wide statistics are available for ALL survival.

The following survival statistics are for people diagnosed with ALL in England between 2008 and 2010. They come from the National Cancer Intelligence Network (NCIN).

Generally for people with ALL

  • around 70 out of 100 people (70%) will survive their leukaemia for 5 years or more after they are diagnosed. 

This is for people of all ages. Younger people tend to do much better than older people. 

  • In those aged 14 or younger, more than 90 out of 100 (more than 90%) will survive their leukaemia for 5 years or more after they are diagnosed.
  • In those aged between 15 and 24, almost 70 out of 100 (almost 70%) will survive their leukaemia for 5 years or more after diagnosis
  • In those aged between 25 and 64, almost 40 out of 100 (almost 40%) will survive their leukaemia for 5 years or more after they are diagnosed
  • In those aged 65 or older, almost 15 out of 100 (almost 15%) will survive their leukaemia for 5 years or more after diagnosis

What affects survival

Your age affects outlook. Younger people have a better prognosis. 

Outlook depends on the specific type of white blood cell the leukaemia affects. It is also affected by changes in your chromosomes or genes. Doctor call these tests cytogenetics. Some specific genetic abnormalities in your leukaemia cells may make your leukaemia harder to treat successfully.

Survival is also affected by how advanced the leukaemia is at diagnosis. If you have a high number of white blood cells in the blood at diagnosis, the outlook is poorer. And your outlook is worse if you have leukaemia cells in your brain or spinal fluid when you are diagnosed. 

Your outlook is affected by how well the leukaemia responds to treatment and how long it takes to get a remission. Remission means the leukaemia is not active and doctors cannot find any sign of it. If it takes more than 3 or 4 weeks to get your leukaemia under control, or leukaemia cells are left after your first cycle of chemotherapy, your leukaemia may be more difficult to treat successfully

If the leukaemia comes back (relapses) after treatment, it is sometimes possible to have a second remission with more chemotherapy


About these statistics

The term 5 year survival doesn't mean you will only live for 5 years. It relates to the number of people who live 5 years or more after their diagnosis of leukaemia. Many people live much longer than 5 years.

The statistics on this page are for relative survival. Relative survival takes into account that some people will die of causes other than leukaemia. This gives a more accurate picture of leukaemia survival.


Clinical trials

Taking part in clinical trials can help to improve the outlook for people in the future. There is information about clinical trials in the trials and research section.


More statistics

Read more about understanding statistics in cancer research and incidence, mortality and survival statistics.

For more in-depth information about survival and other statistics for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL), go to our Cancer Statistics section.

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Updated: 11 June 2015