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About leukemia

Leukemia is cancer that originates in blood-forming tissue. The disease is characterized by the uncontrolled growth of blood cells, usually white blood cells in the bone marrow. White blood cells are a fundamental component of the body's immune response. The leukemia cells crowd out and replace normal blood and marrow cells.

In the United States, an estimated 61,780 Americans will be diagnosed with leukemia in 2019, according to the National Cancer Institute. The most common types of leukemia in adults are AML and CLL. ALL is very rare in adults, and is the most common type of leukemia in children. Leukemia incidences are more common in men and boys than girls and women, and also more likely to occur in white people than black. Although people of any age can get leukemia, it is most common in adults over 60 years of age. Risk factors for leukemia include age, family history, previous blood disorders and exposure to certain chemicals or radiation.