Compare and Contrast: Lymphoma and Leukemia

Leukemia and lymphoma are heterogeneous disorders with various clinical courses. Both disorders are biologically indistinguishable. Lymphoma or its clinical term Small Lymphocytic Lymphoma is a term used for initial presentation in tissue, and where leukemic phases of bone marrow or peripheral blood are absent in cases (Cecilia et al., 2011). Lymphoma starts in the lymphoid tissue while leukemia starts in the bone marrow, where it spreads to the blood (Gisselbrecht, Martis & Mounier, 2011). Leukemia can then spread from the blood to body parts. Affected parts include the liver, spleen, lymph nodes, among others. Leukemia mostly affects children, but can also affect adults (Arden-Close, Pacey & Eiser, 2010). The similarity between lymphoma and leukemia is that, at advanced stages, both affect the lymphatic system. The difference between the diseases is seen in their classification, symptoms and biological presentation. Leukemia can be conceptualized at onset and by the cell involved. The onset of leukemia can be rapid and indolent (Cecilia et al., 2011). The types of cells involved are myelogenous (which are monocytic and myeloid) and lymphoid. Therefore, the basic classification for leukemia includes chronic lymphocytic leukemia, acute lymphocytic leukemia, chronic myelogenous leukemia, and acute myelogenous leukemia. Classification of leukemia is increasingly becoming difficult as more tests are available to test the specific enzymatic, morphologic, genetic, and immunologic aspects of the malignant cells. However, for lymphoma (non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma), its classification is complicated. This is because it has two patterns of growth, diffuse and nodular, where there are two cell sizes, large and small, and two nuclear features, non-cleaved and cleaved (Cecilia et al., 2011). These form the basis of the classification of these diseases. For Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, nodular occurs in older persons and is disseminated as diagnosis and has a better prognosis that the diffuse lymphoma (Gisselbrecht, Martis & Mounier, 2011). Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, has several variants recognized with their own clinical presentation, prognosis, and histological features (Arden-Close, Pacey & Eiser, 2010). Hodgkin’s lymphoma refers to the assessment of tumor and distribution in the body. Low stage is associated with localized lymphoma node without fever and weight loss. The high stage indicates that the disease is widespread with the bone marrow involved. Lymphoma patients have enlarged, superficial, painless lymph nodes at the diseases initial manifestation, with minor involvement of the abdomen and chest lymphs. Acute lymphoma spreads from the lymph nodes, to the spleen, and even bone marrow (Cecilia et al., 2011). However, for acute leukemia, the first indications are usually rapid and fatal in few months, with chronic leukemia being indolent over a long term usually years. In acute leukemia, the peripheral blood is characterized by immature cells, often referred to as blasts. In chronic leukemia, the peripheral blood is mostly characterized by mature cells. Acute leukemia has an increased white blood cell count, with 30% of patients with decreased cell count. Chronic leukemia has increased white blood cell count. The bone marrow for acute leukemia has more than 20% blasts, with blasts in the bone marrow of chronic leukemia …
Posted by: Eustolia Manhart

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