“Multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma are both blood cancers. They are differentiated by the type of cells the cancer develops in.”
Multiple myeloma forms in white blood cells called plasma cells, typically in your bone marrow.
Lymphoma also develops in cells that become blood cells. But lymphoma cells are typically found in your lymph nodes or other parts of your lymph system.
There are about 60 different types of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Some are very aggressive and require intense treatment, while others are slow growing and may never need treatment.
“We take a closer look at the similarities and differences between multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.”
“Here is a brief look at how multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma compare. The United States is referred to in all statistics.”
|Cells involved||plasma cells||lymphocytes, a group of white blood cells that include plasma cells|
|Estimated cases in 2022||34,470 new cases||80,470 new cases|
|Lifetime risk||1 in 132||1 in 52 for men and 1 in 42 for women|
|Median age of diagnosis||65 years||67 years|
|Affects children?||extremely rare||about 800 children per year|
|5-year relative survival||56%||73%|
“Researchers don’t know what causes non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. They develop when certain blood cells are damaged.”
A combination of environmental and genetic factors likely plays a role in the development of these cancers. Here are some of the risk factors researchers have identified for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and myeloma:
|male sex||male sex|
|more likely in white Americans than in African Americans or Asian Americans||African American ethnicity|
|possibly having overweight||having obesity|
|family history||family history|
|increasing age||increasing age|
|radiation exposure||radiation exposure|
|exposure to chemicals such as benzene and some herbicides||exposure to chemicals such as benzene and some herbicides|
|immunosuppression||having another plasma cell disease such as monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance or solitary plasmacytoma|
|some infections such as human T-cell lymphotropic virus or HIV||—|
Does having one of these cancers increase the risk of developing a second cancer?
“People with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma are more likely to develop a second cancer. They can develop any type of cancer.”
However, the American Cancer Society doesn’t list myeloma as one of the most common second cancers in people with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Changes to the bone marrow can be caused by Chemotherapy treatment.
|loss of appetite||loss of appetite|
|shortness of breath||shortness of breath|
|severe or frequent infections||severe or frequent infections|
|easily bruising or bleeding||easily bruising or bleeding|
|unintentional weight loss||unintentional weight loss|
|enlarged lymph nodes||bone weakness|
|swollen belly||extreme thirst|
|chest pain||frequent urination|
|drenching night sweats||kidney problems|
“Doctors start the process of determining if you have multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma by looking at your medical history, family history, and symptoms.”
They also perform a physical exam to screen for potential symptoms of blood cancer. For example, most people with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma visit a doctor after they develop a persistent lump.
A doctor will likely recommend more specific tests after your initial screening.
A lymph node biopsy is needed to confirm a diagnosis of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. This involves taking part or all of a lymph node, so its cells can be analyzed in a lab. A bone marrow biopsy may also be done.
Imaging tests are used to:
- Determine the extent of the cancer.
- If treatment is working, watch it.
- Look for signs of the cancer returning after treatment.
The tests may include:
- X-rays of the chest.
- The scans are computed to be computed.
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- The baby is being examined by a doctor
- Positron emission tomography scans are used.
- bone scans
A doctor can order supportive blood tests to help determine your health and how advanced your cancer is. They might order.
- a complete blood count (CBC)
- A chemistry test.
- a lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) test
- hepatitis or HIV tests
If your symptoms are suggestive of myeloma, a doctor might recommend a blood chemistry test.
- “Testing for high levels of creatinine can indicate that your kidneys aren’t working well.”
- Testing for low albumin levels.
- Testing for high calcium levels.
- testing for high LDH levels, which are associated with a poorer outlook
- Blood testing to measure levels of antibodies.
- Light chain testing without a serum.
- SPEP testing is done on the serum.
- beta-2 microglobulin testing to look for a protein created by myeloma cells
A doctor may recommend a urine test to look for a disease.
They may also recommend analyzing a section of your bone marrow with a procedure called bone marrow aspiration and biopsy, in which a long needle is used to take a small bone marrow sample for lab analysis.
A variety of tests are used to help monitor treatment and see how far the cancer has spread.
Myeloma and lymphoma are treated differently. Here is a look at the treatment options.
- Bortezomib is a type of drug.
- dexamethasone is used for treatment of diseases.
“Doctors will recommend a different combination if treatment doesn’t work or the cancer comes back.”
Treatment for bone disease often includes bisphosphonates with chemotherapy, sometimes with radiation therapy. Some people may be eligible for chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy after other treatments fail, although it can cause serious side effects.
Supportive treatments might include:
- Blood donations.
- IgE in the form ofglobulin
If the cancer develops slowly and you don\’t have any serious symptoms, you may be given treatment that is “watchful waiting”
“Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is usually treated with Chemotherapy. Steroids and chemotherapy can make it more effective. Chemotherapy may be combined with other therapies.”
“Monoclonal antibodies are used to treat some types of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The medications signal to your immune system to fight cancer.”
The survival rate is a measure of how long people with cancer will live.
|All stages combined||56%|
Factors generally linked to better survival include:
- The earlier stage.
- Younger age.
- Good overall health.
- Good function of the kidneys.
Here is a look at the survival rates by stage for the two most common subtypes.
|Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma||Survival rate|
|All stages combined||64%|
|Follicular lymphoma||Survival rate|
|All stages combined||90%|
“Factors that can be linked to a good outlook for people with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma are listed below.”
- Age 60 and below.
- Early stage cancer.
- No lymphoma outside the house.
- able to do daily activities
- normal LDH
“People ask a lot of questions about non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.”
Can you have multiple myeloma and lymphoma at the same time?
Although rare, some case studies in medical journals report people who have had myeloma and lymphoma at the same time.
Does multiple myeloma affect the lymph nodes?
Myeloma that starts in a lymph node is extremely rare, with only about 40 cases reported in the medical literature. However, about 20% of people with relapsed myeloma have cancer spread outside the bone marrow. Lymph nodes are one of the most common places relapsed myeloma spreads to.
Which is worse, multiple myeloma or non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma?
“People with some types of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma may have a poorer outlook.”
Does multiple myeloma or non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma run in families?
Family history is a risk factor for both myeloma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Most people with myeloma don’t have a family history.
“Multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma are two types of blood cancer. Inflammation in the white blood cell causes non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Myeloma is caused by a specific type oflymphocyte.”
It is impossible to know if you have a disease without a proper diagnosis. You can begin the process by going to a doctor.