• Printer Friendly Version
Back to Cancer Care
Acute Leukemias Resources
Other Cancer Types
Select a cancer type for diagnosis and treatment information:

Acute Leukemias

Acute Leukemias

Acute Leukemia is a cancer of the blood and bone marrow and is one of the most common types of childhood cancers. It also can occur in adults. Treatments are usually more effective in children. Forms of Acute Leukemia include Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) and Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL). There are also several types of Chronic Leukemia.

What are the symptoms of Acute Leukemia?
Some common symptoms include: enlarged liver or spleen, easy bruising, bleeding gums, pain in bones or joints, fever and chills, frequent infections, nosebleeds, pale skin, shortness of breath, general weakness, night sweats and swollen lymph glands around the neck, underarm, abdomen or groin.

How is Acute Leukemia diagnosed?
Diagnosis of Acute Leukemia is made by testing of the blood and bone marrow.

What is the treatment for Acute Leukemia?
Treatment depends on multiple factors, including the patient's age and health, the exact form of leukemia and associated genetic mutations. Chemotherapy is a common treatment. Chemotherapy will often begin with an intensive regimen before transitioning to a longer maintenance phase that might last around two years. In most cases, this will be given via infusion therapy. Radiation is sometimes used for certain specific situations, such as to shrink a tumor when leukemia has spread to an organ. Sometimes surgery and stem cell transplants may be performed.

What are the risk factors for developing Acute Leukemia?
People who have experienced previous chemotherapy or exposure to radiation or smoking, or who have certain genetic disorders or a close family member with Acute Leukemia have a higher risk of developing this cancer. Most people, however, will have no known risk factors.

What are some additional resources to learn about Acute Leukemia?
If you or your loved one is facing acute leukemia, CalvertHealth has a whole range of services designed to help you so you never take this journey alone. Please talk to your CalvertHealth provider, your Nurse Navigator, or check the service pages for information about treatments, services and support groups. More in-depth information about ALL is available here: https://www.nccn.org/patients/guidelines/all/index.html