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Teen speaking with doctor about leukemia symptoms

Leukemia is the most common cancer diagnosed in teens and children. It accounts for nearly one out of every three childhood cancer diagnoses. Most young leukemia patients develop acute lymphocytic leukemia, and some develop acute myelogenous leukemia. It’s very rare for a pediatric or adolescent patient to develop a chronic form of leukemia.

The treatments offered to teenagers with leukemia are similar to the treatments for adults with leukemia. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy can be highly effective, although some patients eventually require a blood or bone marrow transplant. Targeted drugs or surgery might be recommended in rare situations. Additionally, several studies are currently underway to investigate new treatments for leukemia in teens, including leukemias that come back after an initial round of treatment.

At Moffitt Cancer Center, our Adolescent and Young Adult Program is designed specifically for cancer patients under the age of 39. In addition to our comprehensive medical treatments, which range from chemotherapy and radiation therapy to immunotherapy and transplantation, we also provide:

  • Emotional and psychological support services
  • Creative and recreational opportunities in a dedicated adolescent and young adult lounge, which is one of the only such lounges in the nation
  • Survivorship groups tailored to young patients and their families

Additionally, we treat a high number of teens and young adults each year, which helps to ensure that our oncologists are attuned to the unique needs of this age group. Our tumor board meets on a weekly basis to assess each patient’s progress, making recommendations for new therapies or treatment modifications based on the latest research on leukemia in teens and young adults. We create each patient’s treatment plan while considering a number of unique factors, including age, blood cell counts, cellular subtypes and chromosomal makeup, allowing us to produce the best possible outcomes while enhancing each patient’s quality of life.

Medically reviewed by Leidy Isenalumhe, MD, Malignant Hematology.

Referrals are not necessary to make an appointment at Moffitt. To learn more about our approach to treating leukemia in teens and young adults, or the supportive services that we provide to adolescent and young adult patients, call 1-888-663-3488 or submit a new patient registration form online.