We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Factors Affect Leukemia Life Expectancy?

By Marlene de Wilde
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Leukemia life expectancy depends on the type of leukemia, the severity of the condition, and the age of the patient at the time of diagnosis. Leukemia is a cancer of the blood cells, and there are many kinds according to which type of white blood cells are affected. Children suffering from certain forms of leukemia have a better life expectancy in general than adults, but only if treatment is given.

There are two types of leukemia: chronic, in which the older, more mature abnormal cells accumulate and become too many; and acute leukemias, where young cells divide rapidly and frequently, inhibiting the normal development of all blood cells. Acute leukemia can be fatal within a very short time unless an aggressive treatment program is started. The progress of the disease is rapid as the immature blood cells accumulate and spread through the body quickly. Some types of acute leukemia are common in children. Leukemia life expectancy for acute forms usually ranges from a few months to a few years.

Chronic leukemia may be undetected in the body for many years. The progress of the disease is slower, and often treatment does not need to begin immediately; rather, the disease is monitored until the right therapy is judged to be necessary. Life expectancy for this kind of leukemia may be 10 years, 20 years or even longer.

Leukemia life expectancy also depends on the type of blood cells affected by the cancer. There are two groups of leukemia: lymphocytic and myelogenous, which are further divided into sub-groups, each with differing survival rates. Generally, though, leukemia is considered one of the most fatal cancers, with low life expectancy and an average survival rate of 43% over five years.

Lymphocytic leukemia is produced in the bone marrow when abnormal and immature lymphocytes take the place of healthy cells. Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) is common in young children and may also affect adults in their late 60s and over. More children than adults survive the disease, with the figures being about 85% for the former and 50% for the latter. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) does not occur in young children but may be found in teenagers. It usually affects adults after the age of 55. About 75% of sufferers will survive the disease for five years.

Myelogenous or myeloid leukemia originates from the marrow cells that develop into red blood cells. Again, leukemia life expectancy depends on whether the condition is acute or chronic. Acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) commonly affects men, and there is a 40% rate of survival over five years. Chronic myelogenous leukemia has the highest survival rate, at 90% after five years.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Related Articles

Discussion Comments
By Rotergirl — On May 21, 2014

If I had a child with leukemia, I'd want them to go to St. Jude Children's Hospital in Memphis. I live fairly close, so I hear about all the discoveries and research they do. I think it's just the best place for a child with any kind of cancer, really. They surely do have the best life expectancies and outcomes.

Early detection is always important, but I think that's more vital in other kinds of cancers. With leukemia, you can't always tell, and people have been brought back from death's door when they receive treatment.

It's all about the quality of the treatment and how much the doctor knows about treating the disease.

By Pippinwhite — On May 20, 2014

AML is bad news. For whatever reason, it's extremely difficult to get into remission, and then doesn't want to stay there. Children with AML don't have nearly as high a survival rate as ALL patients. I've seen a lot of children with AML who hang on for a while, but the outlook isn't good.

I think it all depends on the type of leukemia, as much as anything. Patients with the lymphocytic kind just tend to do better than the ones with myeloid leukemia.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.