Leukemia and lymphoma are two types of blood cancer. Both types of cancer involve uncontrolled growth of blood cells that prevents healthy cell development. Lymphoma, as well as leukemia affects the immune system. Despite these similarities, there are many differences between these two diseases. Let’s take a look at the information about these two blood cancers in order to understand their difference.
Lymphoma and leukemia are general terms used to describe the different malignant tumors. There are different signs and symptoms experienced by patients suffering from any of these conditions. Next, we are going to talk about both leukemia and lymphoma to get a clear idea about both.
What is leukemia?
Leukemia is a cancer of the white blood cells or bone marrow. It usually begins in the bone marrow and gradually takes over the normal blood cells. This leads to the decrease of red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets in the body. When the normal blood cell count is decreased and cancer cells are increased, the appearance of bruises, recurrent infections, anemia, etc. comes. Basically, there are different types of leukemia based on the affected cells and cancer growth. Leukemia is divided into acute leukemia and chronic leukemia. In the case of acute leukemia, cancer cells progress rapidly and life expectancy is only 3 to 5 years. Chronic leukemia implies a slower growth of cancer cells with a patient’s life expectancy of about 10 to 20 years. Based on the type of cells involved, leukemia is divided into:
- Acute myelogenous leukemia
- Acute lymphocytic leukemia
- Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia
- Chronic lymphocytic leukemia
There are many more subtypes of acute and chronic forms of lymphocytic leukemia and myelogenous leukemia. The bone marrow continues to produce cells that are cancerous and do not die. Therefore, they remain present in the blood and bone marrow, and then normal blood cells fall in number. This leads to severe anemia due to lack of red blood cells. A person continues to suffer from recurrent infections due to lack of white blood cells and low platelet count leads to easy bruising due to blood clotting problems. A patient with leukemia looks pale, tired and weak.
What is lymphoma?
Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic cells of the immune system. Lymphoma is the third common type of cancer that occurs in children. Cancer occurs in the lymphatic system, which leads to swollen lymph nodes. Just as white blood cells are part of the immune system, the lymphatic system also plays a role in the fight against infections in the body. Lymphoma cancer cells form tumors in the skin, viscera, bone marrow tissues, which leads to the formation of solid tumors. When the disease enters the leukemic phase, lymphoma cells tend to ‘spill’ into the bloodstream. There are two types of lymphoma: Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The cells involved can be either B cells or T cells. Hodgkin lymphoma is one of the most curable forms of blood cancer. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is made up of many subtypes that are either slow-growing or aggressive. When the lymphoma develops then it results in anorexia, fatigue, idiopathic fever, unexplained weight loss, dyspnea, etc. There may be palpable tumors in the body that interfere with the body’s function.
Differences between leukemia and lymphoma
|Leukemia is cancer of white blood cells and bone marrow.||Lymphoma is cancer of the cells of the lymphatic system.|
|There are four types of leukemia – acute and chronic myeloid leukemia, as well as acute and chronic lymphocytic leukemia.||There are two main types of lymphoma: Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.|
|Symptoms of leukemia include severe anemia, recurrent infections, easy bruising, fatigue.||Lymphoma symptoms include fatigue, anorexia, idiopathic fever and palpable tumors.|
|Leukemia is diagnosed by a blood test and a bone marrow test.||Lymphoma is diagnosed by a biopsy of palpable tumors and CT scans.|
Both conditions require chemotherapy and radiotherapy for treatment. Both types of blood cancer affect the immune system, however, they are different in their manifestation. We hope that the above information has helped you clearly differentiate between the two diseases.