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Difference Between Leukemia and Anemia

Leukemia vs Anemia

Blood disease is one of the illnesses we should avoid as much as possible. We should keep our blood and the blood components at their normal level. These blood components are the red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. These have varying functions in the body. For example, red blood cells help carry the oxygen around the body. White blood cells, on the other hand, help in fighting off infection. Lastly, platelets help in keeping us from bleeding when at times of such illnesses like dengue or dengue hemorrhagic fever.

Two diseases which involve the said blood components can be fully understood by discussing the difference. These are leukemia and anemia.

Anemia came from the Greek word “anaimia” meaning “lack of blood.” Anemia is a blood disease in which there is an insufficient amount of red blood cells or hemoglobin in the blood. Hemoglobin is a component of the red blood cells which is responsible for carrying oxygen to the major organs of the body. Lack of oxygen may lead to hypoxia in organs. “Hypoxia” means “lack of oxygen,” and this may lead to unwanted consequences. First, if there is a lack of oxygen in the heart, this may lead to angina or chest pain. Prolonged angina may lead to a heart attack. Lack of oxygen in the lungs may lead to shortness of breath. Thus the patient will become weak and will have fatigue. Lack of oxygen in the muscles will lead to muscle weakness. Lack of oxygen in the brain will lead to fatigue, dizziness, and fainting.

Leukemia, on the other hand, came from the Greek words “leukos” meaning “white” and “haima” meaning “blood.” Leukemia is classified as a cancer of the blood or bone marrow in which there is an increase in the count of the white blood cells. Leukemia is fatal if not diagnosed and treated early. Due to damaged bone marrow, platelets will also decrease, thus the patient is at risk for bleeding and easy bruising. White blood cells will also become suppressed, thus it will be unable to fight infections. Thus the patient is always at risk for infection. Lastly, the red blood cells will also decrease, thus the patient with leukemia may have anemia at the same time. Even though there is an increased count of white blood cells, these white blood cells are immature and dysfunctional. Symptoms of leukemia include: weight loss, fever, frequent infections, shortness of breath, pain, fatigue, loss of appetite, night sweats, easy bruising, and bleeding.

Diagnosis of anemia and leukemia is through a c.b.c. or complete blood count. Anemia can be treated with vitamin supplements, blood transfusions of pack red blood cells and hyperbaric oxygen. Leukemia can be treated with medications, chemotherapy, and a bone marrow transplant. The most common symptom of anemia is blood loss while other causes include: destruction of red blood cells, impaired red blood cell production, and fluid overload. For leukemia, there is no single, definitive cause.


1.Anemia is not a fatal disease but leukemia, since it is a cancer of the blood, is fatal.
2.Anemia is a disease of a low production of red blood cells while leukemia is a cancer and destruction of the bone marrow with too much white blood cells, less platelets, and less red blood cells.
3.Anemia can be treated easily while leukemia is treated with difficulty.

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