Leukemia vs. lymphoma: symptoms, causes and treatment options

Cancer is the most unpredictable and poorly-understood health issue, which may appear anywhere in human body. It’s even possible for it to develop in the blood! Have you ever heard about leukemia and lymphoma? Both of them are types of blood cancer.

Leukemia is an abnormally rapid propagation of white blood cells, which occurs in the bone marrow. Cancerous white blood cells don’t die off, as normal WBCs do. They, conversely, tend to grow and divide rapidly, crowding out red blood cells.

In adults, leukemia is commonly a chronic, slow-progressing condition. Acute leukemia is a more severe form, which usually affects children and young adults.

Depending on the place of its origination and growth rate, leukemia is classified into lymphocytic (acute and chronic) and myeloid leukemia (acute and chronic).

Lymphoma, in turn, starts in the lymph nodes and lymphocytes, which provide immune response.

Lymphocytes are divided into T- and B-cells.

Like leukemia, lymphoma may be also categorized into different types.

Hodgkin lymphoma is a less widespread condition, in which person develops abnormal B-cells known as Reed-Sternberg cells.

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma can appear in either T-lymphocytes or B-lymphocytes.

Specialists say that lymphoma is a little bit more prevalent disorder. In study, it was estimated that more than 83000 news cases of this type of blood cancer will be diagnosed in 2018, while leukemia will be found in nearly 60300 people.

Symptoms of blood malignancy vary, depending on its type and rate of progression.

Leukemia commonly manifests in easy bruising, frequent bleeding from nose, non-healing infections, breathlessness, constant fever and bone pain. In some cases, people notice rust-colored patches on the skin and abdominal swelling.

The first sign of lymphoma is a lump in the neck, groin or under the arm, which is actually an enlargement of lymph nodes. It is often accompanied by night sweats, lack of appetite, weight loss, cough and fever.

Hodgkin’s lymphoma typically spreads from one node to another, while non-Hodgkin lymphoma can affect lymph nodes sporadically.

Both leukemia and lymphoma may result in spreading of cancerous cells to the lungs, liver and bones.

Genetic factors play very important role in blood cancer occurrence.

Medical experts say that exposure to certain chemicals, radiation and smoking can really boost your risks of developing leukemia.

Hodgkin lymphoma was found to have a close link with immunodeficiency, so it often appears in individuals with HIV and Epstein-Barr infection.

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is more likely to appear in people with chronic H.pylori infection, previous chemotherapy and autoimmune disorders.

All cases of blood cancer require individual approach that mainly depends on the type of disease and overall health.

For leukemia, healthcare specialists may recommend chemotherapy, biological therapy, target therapy or transplanting stem cells.

In the case of lymphoma (no matter whether it is Hodgkin’s or non-Hodgkin’s type) treatment includes radiation therapy, immunotherapy, targeted treatment, high doses of chemotherapy and suppressors for cancerous cells.


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