GEHA | October 2, 2018
Leukemia and lymphoma – you’ve heard these cancer names, or perhaps you know someone who has been diagnosed with one of them.
Leukemia and lymphoma are forms of blood cancer and are a result of problems with the body’s white blood cells. Leukemia occurs when the bone marrow produces too many white blood cells. In other cases, leukemia starts in the lymph nodes. Lymphoma typically starts in the lymph nodes or other lymphatic tissues.
It is usually not possible to know exactly why someone develops cancer. However, research has shown that certain risk factors may increase a person’s chances of developing leukemia or lymphoma, such as age, weight, smoking, exposure to certain types of chemicals, weakened immune system and genetics.
Leukemia is often a slow-moving or chronic condition. It occurs most often in adults older than 55, but is also the most common cancer in children younger than 15. Symptoms may vary and may not be immediately apparent. They include swollen glands, shortness of breath, fatigue, infections that do not heal, easily bruised skin, loss of appetite, weight loss, night sweats, and feeling dizzy or lightheaded.
Depending on the type of lymphoma, symptoms include a lump under the skin (typically in the groin, neck or armpit), fever, weight loss, fatigue, night sweats, chills, loss of appetite, coughing, trouble breathing, severe itching, swollen abdomen, feeling full with a small amount of food, and chest pressure and pain.
Research is making great strides in early detection and treatment of leukemia and lymphoma. It is important to be aware of your physical health and talk to your doctor if you have concerns.
Cancer.gov, “Leukemia.” Cancer.gov, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health.
Cancer.gov, “Risk Factors for Cancer.” Cancer.gov, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, 23 December 2015.
MedicalNewsToday.com, “What is the difference between leukemia and lymphoma?” MedicalNewsToday.com, HealthLine Media, 30 April 2018.