Important Facts About Bone Marrow Cancer And Its Treatment

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What is bone marrow cancer?

We all know that cancer is named after the body part or organ that is effects. Now bone marrow cancer, as the name suggests, is marked by the abnormal and unhealthy multiplication of malignant cells in the patient’s bone marrow.

  • Bone marrow cancer is commonly known as Multiple Myeloma, lymphoma and leukaemia (blood cancer). However, these are not the different names for bone marrow cancer but rather its types.
  • In 2010, more than 1 lakh cases of leukaemia were reported in India alone and by 2015, the numbers rose to 1.17 lakhs.
  • Only the cancers that originate in the bone marrow are known as bone marrow cancers and not the cancers that have spread to it from some other organ (metastatic cancer).
  • Bone marrow cancer is the most common type of cancer in children and teenagers and accounts for nearly 30 per cent of tumours in them.

How bone marrow cancer affects our body? bone marrow cancer treatment hospital in India - Medflick

Bone marrow refers to the brownish, spongy material present inside our bones that contains the stem cells or plasma cells. These cells are responsible for the production of antibodies which help our body to fight various diseases.

Bone marrow cancer leads to excessive growth of plasma cells which drastically affects our body’s ability to produce red blood cells, leading to Anemia, abnormal bleeding and increased vulnerability to infections. Gradually the malignant cells start to replace all the healthy cells, thereby, damaging our bones and eventually leading to paralysis.

Types of bone marrow cancer

As mentioned earlier, bone marrow cancer is classified into 3 different types. These are as under:

Multiple myeloma

  • It is the most common type of bone marrow cancer and the second most common type of cancer.
  • It originates in the plasma cells and leads to the deficiency of white blood cells.
  • It destroys the body’s immune system.
  • It is more likely to affect people above 65 years of age.
  • Excessive production of plasma cells can also lead to tumour formation.

Leukaemia

  • It is marked by the production of abnormal blood cells that slowly damage and replace all the healthy cells.
  • It is popularly known as blood cancer.
  • It is the most common type of cancer in children and people above 60 years of age.
  • Different types of leukaemia include chronic lymphocytic leukaemia, acute lymphocytic leukaemia, chronic myelogenous leukaemia and acute myelogenous leukaemia.

Lymphoma

  • It is the most common type of bone marrow cancer in adults.
  • Lymphomas are majorly classified into 2 different types- B-cell lymphoma and T-cell lymphomas.
  • There are more than 90 different types of lymphoma.
  • Lymphoma can originate from different parts of the body like the lymph nodes, spleen, bone marrow and blood.

Bone marrow cancer symptoms

Various symptoms of Bone marrow cancer include the following:

  • Anaemia
  • General body weakness and fatigue
  • Unbearable pain in the bones and nerves
  • Abdominal pain and discomfort
  • Loss of appetite and dehydration
  • Hypercalcemia leading to confusion and memory loss
  • Fever and chills
  • Loss of weight
  • Excessive sweating at night

Bone marrow cancer causes

It is quite difficult to determine the exact cause of bone marrow cancer, however, the following factors may be accounted for it:

  • Obesity
  • Excessive smoking
  • Family history of bone marrow cancer
  • Exposure to toxic substances, chemicals and atomic radiations
  • As a reaction to chemotherapy or radiation therapy, taken earlier

Diagnosis

Bone marrow cancer is diagnosed with the help of certain tests and screenings that include blood tests, chemistry profile, tumour markers, bone marrow biopsy, urine tests, MRI, CT scan, PET and even X-rays.

Bone marrow cancer treatment:

You can easily find bone marrow cancer treatment videos online on Medflick that will help you to understand all your treatment options.

Bone marrow transplant (BMT) bone marrow cancer diagnosis in india - Medflick

  • Bone marrow transplant is a medical procedure that involves the replacement of unhealthy and damaged bone marrow cells with healthy stem cells in patients suffering from various types of bone marrow cancer.
  • BMT is classified into two different types, Autologous transplant and Allogeneic transplant depending upon the source of the healthy stem cells.
  • BMT not only helps to treat cancer but various other congenital and inherited diseases.
  • BMT can increase the survival rates of the patient up to 85 per cent.
  • The procedure is safe and can also be performed on children.

Autologous transplant

  • The stem cells are collected or harvested from the patient’s blood-stream and preserved at a very low temperature to be used later.
  • Commonly performed after chemotherapy to make up for the loss of healthy stem cells damaged during the procedure and trigger the growth of healthy cells.
  • Since the stem cells are collected from the patient himself, there are no risks of graft-versus-host-disease (GVHD)
  • The procedure is accompanied by higher risks of the relapse of the disease.

Allogeneic transplant

  • The stem cells are collected from an HLA matched donor.
  • The stem cells can be collected from the donor’s blood, umbilical cord or hip bone.
  • Stem cells are infused into the bloodstream of the patient after thorough conditioning to kill the remaining malignant cells.
  • After the transplant, you are likely to lose the immunity to various diseases and as such you will be vaccinated to boost your immune system.

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