What is ALL?
Pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is the most common type of childhood cancer and affects the white blood cells. These cells fight infection and help protect the body against disease. ALL affects a type of white blood cell called lymphocytes, causing them to build up in the liver, spleen and lymph nodes.
Could it be ALL?
Symptoms of pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia can include:
Bleeding that is hard to stop
Flat, dark-red skin spots (petechiae) due to bleeding under the skin
Pain in the bones or joints
Lumps in the neck, underarm, stomach or groin
Pain or fullness below the ribs
Loss of appetite
Shortness of breath
To diagnose ALL, your child’s doctor will ask questions about their medical history and do a physical examination. They may also request additional tests which can include:
Bone marrow biopsy
Tailored to your child’s condition
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia in children is treated using chemotherapy. If the leukemia is fast growing or has come back, your child’s doctor may recommend immunotherapy or a bone marrow transplant.
Understanding cancer in children
The UW Health Kids cancer team offers the most advanced treatment options. Our pediatric cancer and blood disorder experts are national research leaders. We test new therapies and continue to work on therapies for pediatric cancer and blood disorders. For many children with rare or hard-to-treat conditions, clinical trials provide new options.
Search our clinical trials for children
CAR T-Cell therapy
UW Health Kids cancer researchers played a leading role in the development of this form of immunotherapy which uses your child’s own immune cells to fight and kill their cancer.
Meet our team
Your child’s team
Your child’s care is our top priority and we understand the unique needs they have.
Your child’s team will include:
Oncologists (cancer doctors)
Hematologists (blood disease doctors)
Child life specialists
Pain management specialists
Physical, occupational and speech therapists
Radiologists and radiation technologists
When you need us the most
UW Health Kids cancer experts are dedicated to diagnosing and treating all infants, children and adolescents with cancer, including acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Our pediatric oncologists are part of the UW Carbone Cancer Center which is a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center. This designation means that the doctors taking care of your child are experts in cancer treatment, research and education.
At American Family Children’s Hospital, you will find a friendly, child-centered environment. Our hospital is designed with relaxing spaces and areas where children are encouraged to play.
Patient and support services
You’re never alone
There are services available at both American Family Children’s Hospital and in the community to help patients and their families through every step of their journey.
Child life specialists help your child and family cope with any fears and anxieties, and the American Family Children's Hospital patient and family visitor guide features information about:
Positive Image Center
Spiritual care services
Tyler's Place (sibling child care)
Pediatric cancer services
With our expertise comes compassion. Our team considers you and your child part of our family. We will be by your side every step of the way. From diagnosis through treatment and into adulthood, we will care for your child as if they are our own.Learn more