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Why does leukaemia happen to children more commonly than to adults?

6 Answers

  • mom
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is the most common type of leukemia in young children. This disease also affects adults, especially those age 65 and older. Standard treatments involve chemotherapy and radiation. The survival rates vary by age: 85% in children and 50% in adults.

    Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) most often affects adults over the age of 55. It sometimes occurs in younger adults, but it almost never affects children. Two-thirds of affected people are men. The five-year survival rate is 75%. It is incurable, but there are many effective treatments.

    Acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) occurs more commonly in adults than in children, and more commonly in men than women. AML is treated with chemotherapy. The five-year survival rate is 40%.

    Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) occurs mainly in adults. A very small number of children also develop this disease. Treatment is with imatinib (Gleevec) or other drugs. The five-year survival rate is 90%.

    Hairy cell leukemia (HCL) is sometimes considered a subset of CLL, but does not fit neatly into this pattern. About 80% of affected people are adult men. There are no reported cases in young children. HCL is incurable, but easily treatable. Survival is 96% to 100% at ten years.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Like the other person said, its not really that leukemia is less common in adults, it is that one type of leukemia, all, is one of the most common childhood cancers. A huge amount of elderly people get cml, and there is even a large portion of young adults that get aml. But, again, all is one of the most common cancers that children get. There are so many other cancers that effect adults, leukemia doesnt really get put to the head of the list.

    They dont fully understand exactly what causes all, so no one can really tell you exactly why, which is what the leukemia and lymphoma society says

    And, at my cancer clinic, the majority of the leukemia patients are adults. There are a hand full of people in their 20s like me, and the rest are 40+.

    Kind of like breast cancer. Sometimes they almost make it sound like breast cancer is the only type women get.

  • Panda
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    It doesn't. There are just different types of Leukemia . .some affect adults and some affect children more. There are many types of cancer that affect children and do not affect adults . .the cancer is different in childhood. No one knows what causes cancer in children, teens, and young adults. It is always speculated that cancer in older adults is 'caused' by aging and mutation of the cells . .however none of this is true in children and young people.

    Cancer tends to be age specific . . older adults get cancers of the organs, usually carcinoma (lung, colon, breast) . .while children, teens, and young adults get cancers associated with the bone, muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, and soft tissue (sarcoma). .(perhaps because they are growing)

    The truth is that no one knows what causes cancer or why children and young people have a different types of cancer than older people.

  • Anne W
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    "ALL" is considered a childhood leukemia but there are so many different kinds of leukemia it does not happen more with kids only that type of leukemia becuase it is specific.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    it might be because it is found early in your life when you are a child.

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