Difference Between Leukemia and Anemia

Both anemia and leukemia are blood-related illnesses. Anemia occurs when the level of hemoglobin in the blood falls below the age and gender-appropriate reference standard. Anemia is characterized as having hemoglobin concentrations that are two standard deviations below the mean for your age or gender. Anemia is a sign of another disease, not a disease in itself. Leukemia is a disease in which malignant stem cells proliferate in the bone marrow in clones. When more than 25% of blast cells are detected in a bone marrow aspirate, it indicates the presence of leukemia.

Leukemia vs Anemia

The main difference between Leukemia and anemia is that leukemia is a type of fatal cancerous disease which occurs due to the abnormal production of WBC’s in the blood and anemia is characterized by the inadequate amount of RBCs in the blood. Leukemia can lead to the occurrence of anemic conditions in the patients. Both leukemia and anemia are curable but anemia is easier to treat than leukemia.

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Leukemia is a malignancy that affects the blood and bone marrow and is caused by the excessive production of abnormal white blood cells. The production of red blood cells and platelets inside the bone marrow is harmed by these aberrant white blood cells, which are unable to combat infection. Acute or chronic leukemia are two types of leukemia.

Anemia is a condition in which the body’s amount of healthy red blood cells is insufficient. A low red blood cell count implies that the quantity of oxygen in the blood is lower than it should be, as red blood cells supply oxygen to all of the body’s tissues. Reduced oxygen transport to the body’s critical tissues and organs is the source of many of the symptoms of anemia.

Comparison Table Between Leukemia and Anemia

Parameters of ComparisonLeukemiaAnemia
CausesCharacterized by an excess of white blood cells, fewer platelets, and fewer red blood cells.Characterized by low production of red blood cells.
SeverityFatal cancerous disease.Not a lethal condition.
TreatmentIt is difficult to treat.Readily cured.
SymptomsNo conclusive cause.Blood loss, blood cell death, poor red blood cell synthesis, and fluid overload.
Diagnosing processDiagnosed by bone marrow biopsy.Diagnosed with a complete blood count (CBC) and a peripheral smear.

What is Leukemia?

Leukemia is a blood and bone marrow malignancy. Cancer is described as the uncontrolled proliferation of aberrant cells in simple terms. Cancer can strike at any time and in any part of the body. This fast, out-of-control development of aberrant cells occurs in the bone marrow in leukemia. These aberrant cells subsequently leak into the circulatory system.

Leukemia, unlike other malignancies, seldom forms a tumor that can be detected on imaging tests like X-rays. Leukemia comes in a variety of forms. Some are more prevalent among youngsters, while others are more prevalent among adults. Treatment is determined by the kind of leukemia and other variables. Leukemia is divided into two types based on how quickly the disease develops.

Acute leukemia and Chronic leukemia are the two types of leukemia. Leukemia cells divide swiftly, and the disease advances quickly. A person with acute leukemia will get ill within weeks of the leukemia cells developing. The most frequent malignancy in children is acute leukemia. In chronic leukemia, the cells frequently have characteristics of both immature and adult cells.

Some of these cells may have progressed to the point where they operate as the cells they were designed to be, but not to the same degree as their regular counterparts. When opposed to acute leukemia, the disease usually progresses slowly. It’s possible that an individual may not notice any symptoms for years if they have chronic leukemia. Adults are more likely than children to develop chronic leukemia.

What is Anemia?

Anemia is defined as a lack of red blood cells or hemoglobin in the blood. Anemia is a condition in which there aren’t enough healthy red blood cells in circulation. The most frequent type of anemia is typically rather harmless. Anemia, on the other hand, can sometimes be the first sign of cancer or another serious illness. Anemia is a common adverse effect of life-saving anti-cancer medication in other circumstances.

Anemia caused by cancer therapy is a tremendous load that can lead to excessive exhaustion. There are several types of anemia, each with its unique set of causes. Anemia can be either transient or chronic, and it can range from moderate to severe. Anemia is usually caused by a combination of factors. Dietary iron, vitamin B-12, and folate are required for red blood cell maturation in the body.

Every day, 0.8 to 1% of the body’s red blood cells are replaced, and red blood cells have an average lifespan of 100 to 120 days. Anemia can be caused by any mechanism that disrupts the equilibrium of red blood cell production and destruction. Anemia diagnosis can vary based on the kind and root cause. It generally entails collecting a blood sample and testing for hemoglobin, a protein found in the blood. Patients with leukemia are often prone to develop anemia along with the root disease.

Main Differences Between Leukemia and Anemia

  1. Anemia is a condition characterized by low production of red blood cells, whereas leukemia is a malignancy and destruction of the bone marrow characterized by an excess of white blood cells, fewer platelets, and fewer red blood cells.
  2. Anemia is not a lethal condition, but leukemia is since it is a blood malignancy.
  3. Anemia is readily cured, however, leukemia is difficult to treat.
  4. Blood loss is the most prevalent sign of anemia, although additional reasons include red blood cell death, poor red blood cell synthesis, and fluid overload. There is no conclusive cause of leukemia.
  5. Anemia is diagnosed with a complete blood count (CBC) and a peripheral smear whereas a bone marrow biopsy is used to diagnose leukemia.

Conclusion

Anemia and leukemia are both blood-related diseases. Furthermore, persons with the latter are more likely to acquire anemia. Anemia, on the other hand, cannot induce leukemia, and the two illnesses are distinct in numerous ways. Both these diseases occur due to abnormalities in the number of blood components produced by the body.

Both these diseases are identified and treated after a thorough examination or test procedure but anemia is known to get treated quicker than leukemia as it is a form of cancer. An individual should keep check of their blood components by getting regular blood tests every 3-4 months and if any abnormalities are observed they should be treated at the initial stage.

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1263727/
  2. https://europepmc.org/article/med/8797343
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