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Leukaemia & lymphoma

Leukaemia symptoms include chronic fatigue, swollen glands, shortness of breath, red spots on skin, swollen liver and spleen, aching muscles, and painful or tender bones and jointsLeukaemia is the name for cancers that affect your bone marrow. In leukaemia your immature blood cells grow uncontrollably, but don't become properly mature.

There are different types of leukaemia. They affect people of different ages and behave differently. So the treatment you have depends on the type of leukaemia you have. There are four main types of leukaemia.

Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia

Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) is the most common leukaemia in children. To find out more read the detailed information about ALL from Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand.

Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia

Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) or B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (B-CLL) is a slow-growing cancer of blood cells called lymphocytes.

Many people never need treatment for this condition but need regular blood tests and monitoring by their GPs. To find out more, read Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand's detailed information about CLL.

Acute myeloid leukaemia

Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) can happen in children and teenagers, but is more common in adults. It happens when immature red blood cells, platelets and two other types of blood cells start developing quickly. To find out more, read Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand's detailed information about AML

Chronic myeloid leukaemia

Chronic myeloid leukaemia is the rarest of the four main types of leukaemia. It can be stable for years, and then develop rapidly. To find out more read Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand's detailed information about CML.


Lymphomas are cancers in your lymphatic system. Your lymphatic system is a network of channels and glands that carries lymph fluid. Lymph fluid contains the white blood cells that are part of your immune system and help you to fight infections.

There are many different types of lymphomas, but they are all in one of two groups: Hodgkin or non-Hodgkin lymphomas. Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand has more general information about lymphomas, and more detailed information about Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

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Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Endorsed by clinical director, Haematology Department, Canterbury DHB. Last reviewed October 2015.

See also:


Haematology Department at Christchurch Hospital


What's my blood made of?


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Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia

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Review key: HILEU-52883