In acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, there is an overproduction of immature white blood cells or lymphoblasts. These immature cells crowd out the normal blood cells in the bone marrow and affect the production of new cells. This condition is also known as acute lymphocytic leukaemia.

“ALL is a common form of leukaemia in children. It accounts for about 30 per cent of all cancers in children below the age of 15 in Singapore,” says Associate Professor Chan Mei Yoke, Head and Senior Consultant, Department of Paediatrics Subspecialties, Haematology/Oncology ServiceKK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH), a member of the SingHealth group.

What causes acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL)?

The exact cause of ALL is unknown. However, there are certain risk factors associated with this childhood leukaemia. These risk factors include:

  • Exposure to prior radiation therapy or chemotherapy

  • Certain genetic disorders such as Down syndrome

Read on to find out about the symptoms of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

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