Leukemia and lymphoma are both cancers that begin as abnormally growing blood cells. But, they differ in how they grow and develop, how they affect blood cells, what symptoms they cause, and how they are treated. Let's take a look at these differences. Where the Cancers Start Leukemia There are four main types of leukemia. All of them first form inside a blood cell in the bone marrow. Bone marrow is the spongy tissue inside bones that creates blood cells. It makes both myeloid and lymphocytic blood cells. Myeloid cells form some of the white blood cells as well as red blood cells and platelets. Lymphocytic cells form other types of white blood cells. Types that start in lymphocytic cells: ALL (acute lymphocytic, or lymphoblastic leukemia) CLL (chronic lymphocytic leukemia) Types that start in myeloid cells: AML (acute myeloid, or myelogenous leukemia) CML (chronic myeloid leukemia) Lymphoma Lymphoma starts in white blood cells called lymphocytes. It begins in the lymph nodes, which are small areas where clumps of lymphocytes grow. There are two main types, Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin: Hodgkin lymphoma is the most easily cured type of lymphoma. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma affects the lymph nodes and other areas of the lymphatic system. It may also affect the blood cells and bone marrow, but not always. There are many different subtypes of non-Hodgkin lymphoma that affect different kinds of lymphocytes. As lymphoma spreads, the body ends up with not enough healthy white blood cells. It can't protect against infection like it should. Leukemia vs. Lymphoma Symptoms Different types of leukemia can cause a range of symptoms. Common symptoms include bruising or bleeding easily, sweating heavily (especially at night), chills, fever, and pain in the bones. Some people also experience fatigue, weight loss, and feeling weak. Lymphoma also can cause fever, weight loss, fatigue, and night sweats. But, lymphoma may also cause chest discomfort, a full feeling, coughing, shortness of breath, itchy skin, poor appetite, and swelling in the belly. Leukemia vs. Lymphoma Treatments How doctors treat leukemia varies from one patient to another. It depends on the type of leukemia, its stage—how advanced it is—as well as the person's age and overall health. There are several treatment options: Chemotherapy, which may be combined with other cancer drugs or stem cell transplant Radiation therapy, which is often for advanced leukemia Stem cell transplant, which puts healthy bone marrow cells back in the body Targeted therapy, which includes immunotherapy to bolster your own immune system to find and attack cancer cells. Hodgkin lymphoma treatment is primarily chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or both. These treatments have the potential to cure the disease. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma treatment may include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, stem cell transplant, and targeted therapy.