Leukemias and Lymphomas Diagnosed and Treated at Mercy Medical Center

Medical Oncology and Hematology

The doctors of Medical and Hematology at Mercy in Baltimore offer patients customized treatment plans for various types of blood cancers like leukemia and lymphomas. Our specialists work to provide the most comprehensive and compassionate care to patients diagnosed with leukemia and lymphoma.

About the Condition

Both leukemia and lymphoma are types of blood cancers, but begin in different areas of the body.  Leukemia begins in the blood marrow, where cells are produced. Lymphoma starts in the lymphatic system, the system that fights disease.  Cancer cells form abnormal cells in the blood, bone marrow and lymphatic system, growing and spreading.

Types of leukemia and lymphoma:

There are four types of leukemia:

  • Acute myelogenous leukemia (AML)
  • Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL)
  • Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML)
  • Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)

Acute leukemia grows rapidly without treatment, while chronic leukemia develops at a much slower pace.There are two common types of lymphoma, Hodgkin lymphoma and Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Hodgkin lymphoma contains large malignant cells called Reed-Sternberg. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is made up of white blood cells with individual characteristics.

NEXT: Symptoms & Diagnostic Process ›
Symptoms & Diagnostic Process

The symptoms of leukemia and lymphoma are different. The symptoms for both vary depending on the type of blood cancer.

Leukemia Symptoms

Acute leukemia symptoms may include:

  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Swollen gums
  • Headache
  • Night sweats that saturate you bed clothes
  • Vomiting
  • Vision problems
  • Joint and bone pain
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Overall discomfort

Chronic leukemia symptoms are almost non-existent, but as the disease progresses symptoms can appear and worsen. The symptoms may include:

  • Fatigue
  • Discomfort
  • Loss of appetite
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Night sweats that saturate your bed clothes
  • Swollen painless lymph nodes

Lymphoma Symptoms

Unlike the diverse symptoms of leukemia, lymphoma symptoms are generally identical in all types of lymphoma and are not extremely painful. Occasionally, there are different symptoms found in both Hodgkin lymphoma and Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The most common lymphoma symptom is swollen lymph nodes in the neck or the underarm. In Hodgkin lymphoma a swollen lymph node in the groin is often present.

In Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, you may have a swollen lymph node in the groin as well as other symptoms:

  • Unexplained fever
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Night sweats that saturate your bed clothes
  • Fatigue
  • Itchy skin or skin rash


To diagnose leukemia or lymphoma, medical oncologists will perform a physical examination and run a series of tests. For leukemia a complete blood count (CBC) and bone marrow biopsy will confirm your diagnosis. To diagnose lymphoma a biopsy of the lymph node is taken. Other tests may include a blood test, a bone marrow biopsy and a MRI. 

NEXT: Treatment Options ›
Treatment Options

Your medical oncologists and hematologists will prepare a comprehensive individual treatment plan to treat your specific type of leukemia or lymphoma. Our doctors listen to your concerns and consider them when determining the best treatment option for you.  

Treatment options for leukemia and lymphoma may include the following:

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