Dr. Lisa Ashe is one of the leading Board-Certified Internal Medicine physicians serving the greater Washington, D.C. metro area. She completed her medical degree at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, interned at Georgetown University, and completed her residency at The George Washington University and Providence Hospital in Washington, D.C.
Ashe has a Masters of Divinity from Virginia Union University, and is also a local minister at the Alfred Street Baptist Church. Marrying her medical expertise and spiritual studies, she runs the Be Well Medical Group, a top concierge medical practice that promotes the physical, spiritual and mental well-being of patients.
Dr. Ashe also regularly contributes to Bustle.com The Hill, Good Day DC (FOX), Good Morning Washington (ABC) and other media outlets.
Sadly, leukemia is the form of cancer that killed comic Charlie Murphy last week. It is much more common in men, but impacts all genders and ages.
Learn more in her full interview on the Tom Joyner Morning Show below.
Dr. Ashe answers your questions below:
Is leukemia and lymphoma closely related or separate types of blood cancer?
They are both similar and separate. Both are blood cell cancers, there are several types of white blood cells in your body and lymphoma affects lymphocytes (a specific type of white blood cell). They differ in treatment options, and lymphoma typically presents with more specific symptoms including enlarged lymph nodes.
Doc, can this type of cancer have the symptoms of anemia as well?
Absolutely, this type of cancer causes anemia. These symptoms would include weakness and fatigue, pale skin, shortness of breath, dizziness and chest pain.
Are there any symptoms to cervical cancer and at what point is it too late for treatment if someone that is diagnosed with cervical cancer?
With cervical cancer, you can have abnormal vaginal bleeding and discharge as well as painful intercourse. Pap smears screen for cervical cancer in an effort to catch it early. Its never too late for some form of treatment, however prognosis is poor once it has spread throughout the body, much like other cancers.
Dr. Ashe, you need to tell the listeners the difference between acute and chronic leukemia.
Acute leukemia is aggressive and should be treated as soon as possible. Chronic is slow growing and patients may not have symptoms for years. There are two types of acute and two types of chronic. Please note that chronic leukemias can transform into acute leukemias.
What would cause white blood cells to become abnormal?
Cancer can cause the cell to be abnormal as well as autoimmune diseases that affect the blood cells.
What are the 3 types of leukemia? How are they similar in symptomology, disease process and treatment? How are they different in symptomology, disease process and treatment?
There are four main types: acute or chronic, and myeloid or lymphocytic:
* Acute myeloid leukemia (AML)
* Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML)
* Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL)
* Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)
Whether leukemia is acute or chronic depends on whether most of the abnormal cells are immature or mature and are like normal white blood cells. Symptoms are similar in acute as well as chronic, and can be fatigue, recurrent infections, easy bruising and bleeding. Treatment for each include chemotherapy, radiation and stem cells which would be tailored to the specific disease type.
What are some reasons one would have a low white blood cell count and what might it mean?
Sometime low white blood cells are normal in certain individuals. Abnormal causes include: cancer, chemotherapy, infection, HIV, and autoimmune diseases.
Doctor, what are the symptoms of throat cancer and tests should the doctor use?
Throat cancer can present with prolonged hoarseness, difficulty swallowing, coughing or vomiting up blood and you may feel a mass.
I have low white blood count. My mother had the same issue and died from complications from her blood issues, is there something I can do to prevent or reduce my risk? I am 57.
The best thing to do is investigate why you have low white blood cell counts to see if its abnormal. Many people have low white blood cells counts with no issues. I would see a blood specialist (hematologist) for further work up.