Frequently Asked Questions About Leukemia / Lymphoma Treatment

  1. A referral can be initiated simply by letting your physician know you would like a second opinion from St. Jude. They can contact our 24-hour contact service, or call:

    • Toll-free 1-866-2STJUDE (1-866-278-5833), option 2, 24 hours a day.
  2. Approximately 3,000 children and adolescents in the United States are diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) each year.

  3. About 98 percent of children with newly diagnosed ALL attain an initial complete remission (absence of leukemic cells) in four to six weeks.

    At least 90 percent of children are cured.

    If the child does not have a relapse within five years after therapy is stopped, the likelihood of continued disease-free survival is excellent.

  4. St. Jude is dedicated to the treatment of childhood cancer. Therefore our environment and staff has only one focus — the child. Learn more at Why is St. Jude unique for treatment of leukemia and lymphoma?

  5. St. Jude treats children with a wide variety of leukemias and lymphomas, including difficult-to-treat cases. Among the diseases we treat are:

    • Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)
    • Acute myeloid leukemia (AML)
    • Acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL)
    • Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML)
    • Hodgkin lymphoma
    • Juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML)
    • Langerhans cell histiocytosis
    • Myelodysplasia (MDS)
    • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma

    We also treat rare leukemias and lymphomas that may not be represented on this list. For more information, visit Leukemias / Lymphomas We Treat. 

  6. Once therapy is started, regardless of where it is started, it is important that it be carried out to completion. If therapy is started and stopped randomly, it is impossible to determine the response to any one type of treatment. Therefore, make sure you feel comfortable with the treatment that is recommended and that you have had all of your questions answered to your satisfaction before therapy begins.

  7. Your length of stay is always dependent upon the type of treatment required for your child’s disease. Your initial evaluation at St. Jude will, in most cases, require at least a three- to eight-week stay in Memphis. Any additional time will be determined by the specific treatment plan designed for your child. Your St. Jude physician or nurse will be able to discuss this matter with you on an individual basis.

  8. Treating the disease is only one facet of patient care at St. Jude. The institution has a wide range of specialists to help families cope with the challenges of battling a life-threatening pediatric illness. Social workers, psychologists, child-life specialists and pastoral caregivers help patients and families deal with the emotional effects. Five school teachers are on staff to help patients continue their studies while they are undergoing treatment. Additionally, you will receive a tremendous amount of support from other parents who are here and going through similar emotions.

  9. One of our main goals at St. Jude is to provide children with as much "normalcy" as possible. And obviously, one of the most familiar places to children is their own home. When possible, we will work with a local physician to deliver certain treatments at or closer to home. Again, this issue is something we can discuss with you before your child starts treatment.

  10. Absolutely. After your child has been referred to St. Jude and a treatment plan has been recommended, we will be in touch with your local physician to let him or her know what therapy is being offered. Once therapy has begun, we will continue to communicate with your local physician, and when possible, involve them in delivering some of your child’s treatments at home. After treatment is completed, we will rely heavily on him or her to monitor your child and to notify us of any problems or concerns.