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NCCN Guidelines for Patients



Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, Version 1.2017

How to use this book

Who should read this book?

Leukemia is a type of cancer that starts in

blood-forming cells in the bone marrow. Acute

lymphoblastic leukemia is a fast-growing type of

leukemia that causes too many immature blood cells

called lymphoblasts to be made in the bone marrow.

Lymphoblastic lymphoma is similar, but it causes

too many lymphoblasts to build up in lymph nodes

or other parts of the lymphatic system. Patients and

those who support them—caregivers, family, and

friends—may find this book helpful. It may help you

discuss and decide with your doctors what care is


Are the book chapters in a

certain order?

Early chapters explain concepts that are repeated in

later chapters. Starting with

Part 1

may be helpful for

many people. It explains what acute lymphoblastic

leukemia is. Knowing more about this cancer may

help you better understand its treatment.

Part 2

covers health tests and other care needed

before starting treatment. Factors that help doctors

plan treatment are described in

Part 3


Part 4

briefly describes all the types of treatment.

Knowing what a treatment is will help you understand

your options. Treatment options are presented in

Part 5

. Lastly,

Part 6

shares questions for your

doctors and directs you to online resources.

Does this book include all


This book includes information for many people.

Your treatment team can point out what applies to

you. They can also give you more information. While

reading, make a list of questions to ask your doctors.

The treatment options are based on science and

the experience of NCCN experts. However, their

recommendations may not be right for you. Your

doctors may suggest other options based on your

health and other factors. If other options are given,

ask your treatment team questions.

Help! What do the words


In this book, many medical words are included.

These are words that your treatment team may say

to you. Most of these words may be new to you. It

may be a lot to learn.

Don’t be discouraged as you read. Keep reading and

review the information. Ask your treatment team to

explain a word or phrase that you do not understand.

Words that you may not know are defined in the

text or in the


. Acronyms are also defined

when first used and in the


. Acronyms are

short words formed from the first letters of several

words. One example is ALL for