The bone marrow is spongy and soft tissue that fills the inner space of most bones. This tissue comprises immature cells (stem cells) that are released in the blood and they eventually develop and fully maturate into various types of blood cells. Red blood cells are essential for transmission of oxygen and carbon dioxide, white cells play a significant role as a part of the immune system while platelets are important for the process of coagulation.
What are Types of Bone Marrow Cancer?
In many cases cancer that is found in the bone marrow actually originates from other sites in the body. This is a so called metastatic cancer. Microscopical investigation of such cancers points to the specific tissue structure and there is a significant difference from the tissues that are normally found as parts of the bone marrow. Unlike secondary or metastatic bone marrow cancer, primary bone marrow cancers are malignant tumors that originate from the elements of the bone marrow.
Multiple myeloma is a type of primary bone marrow cancer that originates from plasma cells. In patients suffering from multiple myeloma the tumor is made of numerous plasma cells that divide and multiply rapidly and uncontrollably. The condition features with increase in special type of antibodies. These antibodies are found in the blood and in the urine. The growth of the tumor leads to destruction of the nearby bone and excruciating pain. Apart from bones multiple myeloma also leads to a serious damage to the kidneys.
Leukemia is another cancer of the bone marrow. There are several types of leukemia and they are classified according to the very cells that form the tumor. And finally, even though lymphoma represents the tumor that commonly originates from the lymphatic tissues such as lymph nodes it can also start within the bone marrow.
Clinical Characteristics of Bone Marrow Cancer
There is a slight difference between symptoms and signs in all patients suffering from bone marrow carcinoma but majority of them commonly complain about fever, loss of appetite and general weakness. Severe progression of the disease is always accompanied by more intensive symptoms and signs such as pain (infiltration of bones and pathological fractures) and symptoms and signs that result from infiltration of other organs.
Treatment for Bone Marrow cancer
Treatment for bone marrow cancer depends on the fact whether the tumor is primary or secondary. Furthermore, the very treatment depends on the type of the tumor. There are several treatment modalities and they include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Even bone marrow transplant is performed in selected number of patients. The doctor makes the final decision on what treatments are going to be applied. The final decision is based on many factors.