Leukemia and Lymphoma?

What is

Leukemia and Lymphoma?

Cancer can affect all parts of the body, including the blood. Leukemia and lymphoma are types of blood cancer.

Symptoms of leukemia and lymphoma

Leukemia (Blood Cancer) can be either acute or chronic. In acute leukemia, the cancer spreads rapidly. Chronic leukemia grows slower at the beginning stages. There are various types of leukemia, each classified by the growth rate and origins of the cancer cells. These include:

  • Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL)
  • Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML)
  • Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML)
  • Juvenile Myelomonocytic Leukemia (JMML)

Lymphoma specifically affects the lymph nodes. The type of lymphoma is based on the origins of the cancer cells. Some cases start in the lymphatic system, while others begin in the white blood cells. These cancers are also called Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphomas. They occur when T- or B-cells within white blood cells become abnormal.


Both leukemia and lymphoma stem from problems with your white blood cells.

With leukemia, your bone marrow produces too many white blood cells that don’t naturally die off in the way that normal aging blood cells do. Instead, they keep dividing and ultimately take over healthy red blood cells. This becomes problematic because your body depends on red blood cells for normal oxygen and nutrient transport. Leukemia may similarly start in the lymph nodes.
Lymphoma often begins in the lymph nodes, which are the small tissues that help your body fight infection. Certain types of lymphoma may also be caused by the spread of abnormal white blood cells in other parts of the body.


Treatment for leukemia is based on your condition at diagnosis. If your doctor decides to move forward with treatment, they’ll focus on treatments that prevent abnormal cells from forming in the blood and lymph nodes. These may include:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation Therapy
  • Stem Cell Transplants
  • Targeted Therapy, or drugs that prevent further abnormal cell growth

Like leukemia, the treatment options for lymphoma depend on the extent of the cancer diagnosis. For Hodgkin disease, the cancer cells are easier to treat if they’re still in the lymph nodes. The most common treatments for this type of lymphoma are chemotherapy, radiation therapy and some time stem cell transplant.

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