Youth Cancer

Leukaemia - What is it?

Leukaemia is a cancer of the white blood cells, which are made in the bone marrow - the soft spongy material in the centre of your bones.

  • Leukaemia’s are divided into two main groups: acute and chronic (acute leukaemia are more common in adolescents and young adults).
  • They’re then further divided by the type of white blood cell which is affected (myeloid or lymphoid).
  • Acute leukaemia's come on suddenly, often within days or weeks. They progress quickly and need to be treated urgently.
  • Chronic leukaemia’s develop more slowly, usually over many months or years.


These are the five main types of leukaemia: