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Difference Between lymphoma and leukemia

Symptoms of Leukemia

Symptoms of Leukemia

Lymphoma vs Leukemia

Both are cancers that affect a part of a human’s immune system. The immune system is a broad set of systems made of several types of cells. Leukemia and Lymphoma are diseases of compromised immune system caused by tumor growth and their distinction lies in which cells are initially affected.

Leukemia — from the Greek word “leukos”, meaning “clear or white”, and “haima or emia” which refers to blood — is a broad term covering a disease which is characterized by an abnormal production of anomalous white blood cells. It is a cancer of the blood cells or bone marrow with numerous types and classifications. Leukemia usually comes from cells of the myeloid system that are made in the bone marrow. When tumor cells are found in the circulating blood, by definition, it is leukemia.

Lymphoma, on the other hand, is a tumor of the lymph nodes that causes lymph nodes to expand. In essence, the abnormal condition starts from the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is a part of the body’s immune system to fight infection. An invasion of other organs occurs caused by lymphoid tissues appearing where it should not. There are two major types of Lymphoma, the Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and the non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

In leukemia, the damaged bone marrow makes abnormal white blood cells which are called leukemia cells. These leukemia cells do not die when they should, thus overcrowding the system. They will ultimately crowd out the normal blood cells and inhibit their function.

A lack of blood platelets, which are important in the blood clotting process, will result. This means individuals with leukemia may bruised easily and bleed excessively. Paleness, weakness, and fatigue are common symptoms. However, chronic leukemia has no early telling symptoms.

Conversely, lymphoma sufferers may have symptoms similar to people with leukemia but the distinctively, people with lymphoma have painful swelling of the lymph nodes in neck, armpits or groin. Sometimes, these are the only symptoms and they start very early.

1. Leukemia is a tumor or cancer of blood cells or bone marrow while lymphoma is a cancer that starts in the lymph nodes or the lymphatic system
2. Leukemia produces abnormal white blood cells that crowd out normal blood cells which inhibits the normal functions of the immune system. Lymphoma invades other organs by unnecessary and uncontrollable growth of lymphoid tissue.
3. Leukemia sufferers have symptoms typical of other cancers and may have no early telling symptoms especially if chronic. Lymphoma will often have telling signs of swollen lymph nodes in neck, armpits or groin which is frequently painful.

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  1. thank you for fresh information….danger disease

  2. Lymphoma are usually NOT painful, not mobile and very firm. a painful lymph node is more of a sign of a reactive hyperplasia =inflammation due to some sort of viral or bacterial infection.

  3. yes i agree with the above poster please correct the article: lymphomas are PAINLESS, painful nodes is indicative of infectious process

    • I think you are wrong I have Primary Bone lymphoma and I can tell you w1th no uncertainty That it IS PAINFUL VERY PAINFUL

  4. This is a very good article, except for the comments as mentioned above. Painful and tender lymphadenopathy as produced by an infectious process is VERY IMPORTANT to distinguish from the painless lymphadenopathy in lymphoma. Please correct this in the article above so other readers do not get confused.

  5. I don’t understand why everyone is saying lymphoma is painless. Maybe for some people, but not always, right? I know someone who developed lymphoma in early elementary school and they had terrible pains in their body.

    • The distinction is that in lymphoma, the lymph nodes are solid but painless. The pain your friend (unfortunately) may have experienced was most probably bone pain, if not other metastatic spread to liver, lung, brain or nerve pain etc which are common in most types of metastatic cancer. But the clinical signature of lymphoma is that the lymph nodes are enlarged, yet painless.

      • Extremelly correct

      • I had Hodgkin’s lymphoma and I had a lump under my arm in the lymph node it was excruciating for pain I was diagnosed at stage 3b and it affects your joints and causes pain I was myered with lymphoma neck chest abdomen spleen under arm pits I think if my lymphoma was caught early I would probably not have pain but over a year to get a diagnosed is bad so I would correct your statement depends how advanced the lymphoma is

  6. “people with lymphoma have painful swelling of the lymph nodes in neck, armpits or groin. Sometimes, these are the only symptoms and they start very early”

    This statement is not entirely true. I’m a resident and more then 2/3 of patients with lymphoma are present with non painful enlargement of their lymph nodes. You should update this. Thanks

  7. thanks jolly,its really true,just started to be confused about it because a consulltant said that the swollen lymph nodes are painless.

  8. “Lymphoma is a solid CLL and CLL is a liquidy lymphoma” ~ Conrad Fischer

  9. I had non-hodgins lymphoma five years ago and no pain but huge lumps in groin. No lymphoma for 4 years but cancer has shown up in both kidneys. Feeling great!

  10. I have had hodgins lymphoma and I was at stage 3b before being diagnosed and had boils that came up on the private’s and they were very painful and a lump under my arm which was very painful and a deep neck abscess and I felt my organs starting to cause problems I had rashes all the time that was that irritant I could not sleep and scratched my skin to bleeding I turned into an old lady shuffling it was total life changing experience


  1. Difference Between Lymphoma and Hodgkin’s lymphoma | Difference Between | Lymphoma vs Hodgkin’s lymphoma

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