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Do hematologic cancers affect children differently than adults?

Hematologic cancers do affect children differently than adults. In general, they are less common in children than adults; the chance of developing most hematologic cancers increases as a person gets older. The types of hematologic cancers found in children also differ from those seen in adults. For example, the most common leukemia in children is acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), whereas acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) is much less common and chronic leukemias are rare. By contrast, AML and chronic leukemias are the most common hematologic cancers in adults. The chances of survival are also often better for children with hematologic cancers than adults. This is partly because of the types of cancer most commonly found in children: ALL is the leukemia with the best prognosis. But even for the same type of cancer, adults can have a worse prognosis. For example, ALL in children has 5-year survival rate of greater than 80 percent, whereas the 5-year survival rate for ALL in adults 65 years or older is approximately 7 percent.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.