Bone marrow cancer is literally cancer that affects the bone marrow.
But what is exactly is the bone marrow and how does it help the human body? Bone marrow is a type of tissue that is characterized as spongy and is located in the core of a person’s. These bones include the thighbones and the hipbones. Stem cells that further develop and produce into many other forms of blood cells in the human body come from the said bone marrow. These blood cells include:
Platelets help in the clotting of blood
White Blood Cells or WBC
Blood cells that help fight off different types of infections
Red Blood Cells or RBC
Blood cells that transport carbon dioxide and oxygen through the entire human body
The human body can normally produce or come up with the aforementioned blood cells as required. An example of such a requirement is when old blood dies and needs to be replaced by new ones. There are times though when the said cells can grow abnormally fast or too quickly and such a condition is known as cancer of the bone marrow.
What are the Different Types of Bone Marrow Cancer?
Cancer of the bone marrow can be identified based on the type of bone marrow is affected. Listed below are the different types of bone marrow cancer:
Multiple Myeloma is a form of bone marrow cancer that affects the cells of the plasma which are produced in the bone marrow. These cells have a critical role in fighting off harmful microorganisms as it is needed by the body’s immune system to produce antibodies.
White blood cell cancer is also called leukemia. There have been cases where leukemia developed in other types of blood cells. Acute Leukemia is a form of cancer that is considered highly problematic since it tends to be aggressive and fast-growing. Chronic Leukemia, on the other hand, progresses more slowly. Leukemia can further be subdivided into different types:
ALL or Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia
A kind of leukemia that commonly affects more children than adults
AML or Acute Myeloid Leukemia
A form of leukemia that commonly affects adults that are older. Several cases, however, have shown that AML can affect children as well.
CLL or Chronic Lymphoid Leukemia
A form of cancer that usually affects the lymphocytes of the body. These lymphocytes are a form of WBC or white blood cell and CLL or leukemia that affects these lymphocytes are more commonly diagnosed in older adults.
CMML or Chronic Myelomonocytic Leukemia
CMML also affects adults that are older and can usually be found in the bone marrow cells responsible for producing other blood cells.
As the term implies, childhood leukemia is the most common form of leukemia diagnosed in both teenagers and children. Other cases of leukemia in children and teenagers are ALL or Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia and AML or Acute Myeloid Leukemia.
Cancers in the lymphatic system are known as or called lymphomas. This type of cancer can afflict many different parts of the body which includes the bone marrow. There are two (2) known forms of lymphomas and these include:
Non- Hodgkin’s lymphoma
Primarily affecting the lymphocytes, these lymphomas or cancers may start to develop in different parts of the human body and can affect the various lymphocytes of the patient
Hodgkin’s lymphoma is another form of lymphoma that primarily affects lymphocytes. The only difference between Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and Hodgkin’s lymphoma is that Hodgkin’s lymphoma has been shown to contain the Reed-Sternberg Cell, a type of abnormal and unique cell.
What Are the Symptoms of Bone Marrow Cancer?
The form of bone marrow cancer the patient has, the cancer cells’ aggressiveness, and the location of cancer can all contribute to the type and severity of the symptoms the patient may experience. Listed below are some of the symptoms based on the type of leukemia a patient has:
Multiple Myeloma symptoms
Weight loss, vomiting, nausea, thirst, feeling confused, changes in urination frequency, increased possibility for infections, fatigue, and pain or fracture in the bones.
Body pains and aches, bleeding from wounds for a longer period of time, bruising that is unexplained, a complexion that is pale, infection that is frequent, lymph nodes or spleen that is enlarged, night sweats, bone pain fever, shortness of breath, fatigue, and weakness
What are the Treatment Options for Bone Marrow Cancer?
Bone marrow cancer treatment is highly customized based on the specific needs of cancer patients. These factors include the person’s overall health and cancer’s extent or aggressiveness. Cancer treatment can either help the person become more comfortable to improve his or her quality of life, prevention of further spreading of cancer, and to actually cure or remove cancer from the patient’s system. Once the doctors have determined that there are no longer any cancer cells in the bone marrow and the blood of the patient, the individual is considered to be in remission.
Some of the more common types of treatment for bone marrow cancer are Radiation, stem cell transplant, and chemotherapy.
What Is the Survival Rate?
The survival rate of patients with Bone marrow cancer really depends on a number of different factors such as the patient’s overall health and the aggressiveness of cancer. As such, survival rates may be different from one patient to the next.