Difference Between Myeloma and Lymphoma

Cancer is a broad term that includes a wide variety of types of cancer. Anyone can be diagnosed with cancer irrespective of age, race, and gender. Myeloma and Lymphoma are two categories of blood cancer that affect the blood cells. Myeloma affects the plasma cell that is present in the bone marrow, while lymphoma affects the lymphocytes.

Myeloma vs Lymphoma

The main difference between myeloma and lymphoma is that myeloma directly affects the immune cells, also called plasma cells. When plasma cells get affected or become cancerous, then they start producing and multiplying abnormally that resulting in producing abnormal antibodies. Lymphoma, on the other side, affects the lymphatic system, which mainly consists of lymphocytes or immune cells.

Myeloma and Lymphoma

Myeloma is a type of blood cancer that affects the plasma cells present in the bone marrow. When plasma cells are affected or become cancerous, then these cells start growing abnormally and produce abnormal antibodies. Bone pain and enlargement is the major and primary symptom of myeloma.

Lymphoma is also a type of cancer that affects the lymphatic system, which generally consists of lymphocytes (white blood cells). This type of cancer is further classified into two types, namely Non- Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, which is again further categorized into thirty and five subtypes, respectively. Painless lymph nodes swelling and spleen are the primary symptoms that help to diagnose lymphoma.

Comparison Table Between Myeloma and Lymphoma

Parameters of ComparisonMyelomaLymphoma
What is itMyeloma is a cancer of the blood that affects plasma cells.Lymphoma is a cancer of lymphocytes which is mainly white blood cells.
Risk FactorRisk factors associated with this type of cancer include having a family history of myeloma, having obesity, having other plasma cell diseases, etc.Risk factors associated with lymphoma include having bacterial infections, having weakened immune system, obesity, radiation exposure, family history of lymphoma, an autoimmune condition, etc.
SymptomsSymptoms include dehydration, frequent infection, leg swelling, shortness of breath, kidney problems, weakened bone, bone pain, and many more.Symptoms include fatigue, itching, night sweats, weight loss, abdomen swelling, enlargement of lymph nodes, bruising, and many more.
TreatmentTreatment options available for myeloma include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunomodulating agents, stem cell transplant, proteasome inhibitors, and surgery.Treatment options available for lymphoma include stem cell transplant, immunotherapy, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.
ClassificationThe classification of myeloma is generally the same.Lymphoma is classified into various types and subtypes.

What is Myeloma?

Myeloma is a type of blood cancer that is diagnosed by affecting plasma cells, which are present in the bone marrow. When plasma cells get affected, it starts multiplying abnormally and produce antibodies called a paraprotein. If myeloma affects multiple parts pr places of the body, then it is considered multiple myeloma.

There are various symptoms of myeloma. Some of the major and primary symptoms include kidney damage, bone pain, and recurring infection. It also includes symptoms like breath shortness, weakness, swollen legs, dehydration, frequent urination, etc.

Myeloma can be diagnosed on various stages ranging from high, intermediate, to standard risk depending on the tumor’s genes. Different treatment is provided to the patient at different stages. This includes chemotherapy, proteasome inhibitors, radiation therapy, stem cells transplants, surgery, and immunomodulation agents. The treatment or drug given to the patient depends on the age and how threatening the cancer stage is.

What is Lymphoma?

Lymphoma is cancer of the blood that affects the lymphatic system, which is composed of lymphocytes. Lymphocytes mainly consist of B and T cells, and each cell work specifically on protecting the body from various diseases. This type of cancer is classified into two types, namely Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin. These two types include different types of lymphocyte cells, and each response differently at a different rate. Some major symptoms of lymphoma include fever, weight loss, shortness of breath, night sweats, abdomen swelling, itching, etc.

Various tests are suggested by doctors to diagnose lymphoma. This includes chest X-rays, MRIs, blood tests, bone marrow aspiration, and molecular tests. Treatment of this type of cancer varies from one stage to another. For non-Hodgkin lymphoma, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and immunotherapy are suggested. For Hodgkin, on the other side, immunotherapy, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy are considered as the main treatments.

Main Differences Between Myeloma and Lymphoma

  1. Myeloma and lymphoma are type of blood cancer that affects the body in one or another way. Myeloma is a cancer of plasma cells that are present in the bone marrow of the body. Lymphoma, on the other side, is cancer of lymphocytes which is categorized as white cells.
  2. Apart from the family history of the disease, there is a number of risk factors that are directly or indirectly affect the individual. Risk factors associated with myeloma are having obesity, having other plasma cell diseases, etc. Lymphoma, on the other side, has risk factors like having bacterial infections, having weakened immune system, obesity, radiation exposure, an autoimmune condition, etc.
  3. Every disease has some major symptoms that help in diagnosing the disease effectively. Myeloma symptoms include dehydration, frequent infection, leg swelling, shortness of breath, kidney problems, weakened bone, and bone pain. Symptoms of lymphoma are fatigue, itching, night sweats, weight loss, abdomen swelling, enlargement of lymph nodes, bruising, and many more.
  4. Cancer treatment varies from patient to patient, depending on their age and stage diagnosed. Treatment options available for myeloma includes chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunomodulating agents, stem cell transplant, proteasome inhibitors, and surgery. On the contrary, treatment options available for lymphoma include stem cell transplant, immunotherapy, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.
  5. Myeloma is generally classified as similar. But lymphoma, on the other side, is further classified into two major types, namely non-Hodgkin and Hodgkin, which are further categorized into subtypes.

Conclusion

Myeloma and lymphoma are the types of blood cancer that affect different cells. Myeloma affects plasma cells, while lymphoma affects lymphocytes. Although both of these affected cells are part of the immune system. Treatment of blood cancer is a series of therapies are surgeries that are suggested by a doctor after diagnosing the stage and other health factors of the patient.

References

  1. https://www.nature.com/articles/1702822
  2. https://acsjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/1097-0142(19880501)61:9%3C1782::AID-CNCR2820610910%3E3.0.CO;2-7

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