Leukemia, the most common blood cancer, includes several diseases. The four major types are acute lymphocytic leukemia (also called acute lymphoblastic leukemia, ALL), chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), and chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML).
Although affecting approximately 10 times more adults than children, leukemia is the most common cancer among children, with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) accounting for approximately 75 percent of all childhood leukemias. The most common type of leukemia in adults is AML, followed by CLL, CML, and ALL.
The incidence and mortality rates for leukemia have decreased slightly over the last 20 years and are higher in whites than in people of other racial and ethnic groups. Overall, men are more likely to develop leukemia than women, though since 1992, incidence rates have remained stable in men but have increased slightly in women.
It is estimated that approximately $4.5 billion is spent in the United States each year on leukemia treatment.