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DIFFERENCE BETWEEN

45 Differences Between Lymphoma and Leukemia

45 differences between Lymphoma and Leukemia

Lymphoma and leukemia are both malignancies that begin in the body’s blood-forming tissues, specifically the bone marrow and lymphatic system. While each of them entails aberrant white blood cell development, they have different features and categories.

LYMPHOMA

Lymphoma is a kind of cancer that begins in the lymphatic system, which is part of the immune system of the body. Lymph nodes, spleen, thymus, and other lymphoid tissues are all part of the lymphatic system. Lymphoma develops when aberrant lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell that aids the body in fighting infections, proliferate uncontrollably.

Lymphocytes are an important component of the immune system because they recognize and fight infections such as bacteria, viruses, and other foreign substances. In lymphoma, anyway, these cells become malignant and begin to multiply irrationally resulting in tumours in lymph nodes or other sections of the lymphatic system.

Lymphoma warning signs can include swollen lymph nodes, fever, weight loss, night sweats, exhaustion, and itching. Lymphoma is often diagnosed using a combination of physical exams, imaging tests (such as CT scans or PET scans), and a biopsy of damaged tissue to examine the cancer cells closely.

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LEUKEMIA

Leukemia is a type of cancer that begins in the body’s bone marrow and blood-forming tissues. It is characterized by the uncontrollable proliferation of aberrant white blood cells, which are in charge of fighting infections and strengthening the immune system. In leukemia, abnormal cells crowd out healthy cells in the bone marrow, interrupting normal red blood cell, white blood cell, and platelet formation.

The precise cause of leukemia is unknown; however, it is thought to be a combination of hereditary and environmental factors. Fatigue, weakness, easy bruising or bleeding, frequent infections, pale complexion, fever, and enlarged lymph nodes or spleen are all common signs of leukemia.

Diagnostic procedures such as bone marrow aspiration and biopsy, and sometimes genetic testing are used to establish the precise type of leukemia and guide treatment recommendations. Treatment for leukemia is determined by the patient’s type, stage, and overall condition. 

Chemotherapy, targeted therapy, radiation therapy, stem cell transplantation, and, in rare situations, immunotherapy may be used. The therapy goal is to remove or regulate the aberrant cells, restore normal blood cell production, and improve the patient’s quality of life.

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S.No.

Aspect

Lymphoma

Leukemia

1

Definition

Cancer of lymphatic system

Cancer of blood and bone marrow

2

Origin

Lymphocytes

White blood cells (primarily WBCs)

3

Location

Lymph nodes, spleen, or other organs

Bone marrow, blood, and sometimes organs

4

Growth Pattern

Solid tumors

Circulating cells in the bloodstream

5

Symptoms

Enlarged lymph nodes, fever, weight loss

Fatigue, anemia, frequent infections

6

Diagnosis

Biopsy, imaging, blood tests

Blood tests, bone marrow aspiration

7

Subtypes

Hodgkin lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin lymphoma

Acute lymphoblastic, Acute myeloid, etc.

8

Progression

May stay localized or spread

Rapidly progresses and spreads quickly

9

Common Age

Typically in adults

Can affect children and adults

10

Treatment

Radiation, chemotherapy, immunotherapy

Chemotherapy, bone marrow transplant

11

Prognosis

Varies widely based on type and stage

Varies based on subtype and response

12

White Blood Cells

Normal or slightly elevated WBC count

Elevated WBC count (leukocytosis)

13

Red Blood Cells

Usually not affected

Often leads to anemia

14

Platelets

Normal or reduced platelet count

Normal or reduced platelet count

15

Bone Pain

Less common

Common, especially in acute leukemia

16

Risk Factors

Immune system disorders, infections

Genetic predisposition, radiation, etc.

17

Common Types

Hodgkin lymphoma, Diffuse large B-cell

Acute lymphoblastic, Chronic myeloid

18

Incidence

Less common than leukemia

More common in terms of blood cancers

19

Lymphatic System

Directly affects lymphatic system

Indirectly affects lymphatic system

20

Relapse

Can relapse after treatment

Can relapse after treatment

21

Bone Marrow Biopsy

Usually not required

Typically used for diagnosis

22

Risk of Bleeding

Low risk of bleeding

High risk of bleeding

23

Infiltration

Tumor cells infiltrate lymph nodes

Cells infiltrate bone marrow and blood

24

Presence of Mass

Often presents as a visible mass

No visible mass, systemic symptoms

25

Survival Rate

Varies widely based on type and stage

Varies based on subtype and response

26

Specific Antigens

May express CD30 antigen (Hodgkin)

May express specific surface antigens

27

Lymphocyte Counts

Normal or elevated lymphocyte counts

Abnormal lymphocyte counts

28

Immunodeficiency

Rarely causes immunodeficiency

Can lead to immunodeficiency

29

Spread to Organs

May affect organs adjacent to lymph nodes

May infiltrate organs like liver, spleen

30

Risk of CNS Involvement

Rarely affects the central nervous system

Can infiltrate the central nervous system

31

Common Age in Children

Relatively rare in children

Common childhood cancer

32

Treatment Duration

Treatment duration can be shorter

Often requires longer treatment

33

Relapse Timing

Relapses may occur later after treatment

Relapses can occur during or after treatment

34

PET Scan Usage

PET scans used for staging and monitoring

PET scans less commonly used

35

Molecular Subtypes

Some lymphomas have distinct molecular subtypes

Subtypes based on cell lineage and genetic mutations

36

Etiology

May be associated with viral infections

Often due to genetic mutations and unknown causes

37

Survival Curves

May show a bimodal survival curve

Survival curve varies with subtype

38

Risk of Organ Failure

Rarely leads to organ failure

Can lead to organ failure

39

CNS Symptoms

Rarely causes central nervous system symptoms

May cause CNS symptoms if infiltrating the brain

40

Bone Marrow Cells

Abnormal lymphocytes in bone marrow

Abnormal immature cells in bone marrow

41

Treatment Targets

Targeted therapies are less common

Targeted therapies are increasingly used

42

Common Complications

Secondary cancers, lymphedema

Infections, bleeding, organ damage

43

Survival After Relapse

Relapsed lymphomas can still be treatable

Relapsed leukemias often have poorer outcomes

44

Risk of Enlarged Spleen

May cause splenomegaly

Splenomegaly less common

45

Risk of Immunosuppression

Immune system often preserved

Immune system compromised by leukemia

Also Check: 28 Differences Between CT scan and PET Scan

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the different forms of lymphoma?

Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) are the two forms of lymphoma. NHL is further subdivided into many subtypes.

What are the signs and symptoms of lymphoma?

Swollen lymph nodes, fever, weight loss, exhaustion, night sweats, and itching are all common signs of lymphoma.

What are the many forms of leukemia?

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), acute myeloid leukemia (AML), and chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) are the four main kinds of leukemia.

What are the symptoms and indicators of leukemia?

Fatigue, weakness, recurrent infections, fever, easy bruising or bleeding, bone pain, and enlarged lymph nodes or spleen are all symptoms.

How is leukemia identified?

Blood tests to determine the amount and type of blood cells, bone marrow aspiration and biopsy, and sometimes genetic tests to identify particular mutations are used in the diagnosis.

NHL is further subdivided into many subtypes.

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