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Survival statistics for acute lymphocytic leukemia
Survival statistics for acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) are very general estimates and must be interpreted very carefully. Because these statistics are based on the experience of groups of people, they cannot be used to predict a particular person’s chances of survival.
There are many different ways to measure and report cancer survival statistics. Your doctor can explain the statistics for ALL and what they mean to you.
Net survival represents the probability of surviving cancer in the absence of other causes of death. It is used to give an estimate of the percentage of people who will survive their cancer.
In Canada, the 5-year net survival for ALL is 51%. This means that about 51% of people diagnosed with ALL will survive for at least 5 years.
People with ALL must be treated. Without treatment, survival is only a few months.
With current treatment regimens, about 80%–90% of people with ALL will reach a complete remission (which means that leukemia cells cannot be seen in the bone marrow). About half of these people relapse.
About 40%–50% of people with ALL reach a complete remission and do not relapse. These rates vary with the subtype of ALL and other prognostic factors.
Questions about survival
If you have ALL, talk to your doctor about your prognosis. Prognosis depends on many factors, including:
- your medical history
- type of cancer
- characteristics of the cancer
- treatments chosen
- response to treatment
Only a doctor familiar with these factors can put all of this information together with survival statistics to arrive at a prognosis.
I’m extremely grateful to the Canadian Cancer Society for funding my research with an Innovation Grant.
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