All You Need to Know about Bone Marrow Cancer
Bone Marrow Cancer – the bone marrow is by far one of the most important parts of the body. It is normally located somewhere inside the bones. It is soft and spongy in nature. Normally, the bone marrow is made up of stem cells, which are basically immature cells. The stem cells are the main source of blood cells since they normally develop into blood cells.
These include the white blood cells, which make up the body’s immune system; the red blood cells, which basically carry oxygen in the body and finally the platelets, which are clotting agents of the blood.
The bone marrow is on the other hand the main iron storage part of the body.
It is obvious that the body requires iron for it to produce the cells. Therefore, what better place to store iron other than the exact part where cell production takes place!
There are two types of bone marrow cancers; primary and secondary bone marrow cancer
Secondary bone cancer normally comes about as a result of cancer spreading from other affected areas of the region. This might be the lungs, breast or any other part of the body that may be cancerous. The name ‘secondary’ refers to the fact that this kind of cancer is normally as a result of another cancer in the body. As a matter of fact, research shows that if keenly assessed, this kind of cancer highly resembles the tissue of the original cancer. It is simply a bi-product of the original cancer.
Primary bone marrow cancer on the other hand is the kind of cancer that is caused by the blood-forming cells of the bone marrow. In layman’s language, it can be termed as the ‘original cancer of the bone marrow’. Primary bone marrow has been categorized in a variety of groups depending on the nature of the cancer. Multiple myeloma is one of the most common types of primary bone marrow cancer.
This is a kind of bone marrow cancer that specifically affects the plasma cells. Just like any other kind of cancer, the multiple myeloma cancer is characterized by abnormal multiplication of the plasma cells. The cells in the end get to grow at an abnormally high rate.
The main job of plasma cells is to produce antibodies that help the body fight diseases. In that case, the cancerous plasma cells tend to in turn affect the rate of antibody production in the body. They tend to be very many in number but abnormal. The high number of plasma cells gets deposited in the urine bringing about renal failure. On the other hand, the cell tumor affects the surrounding bone causing some sort of pain to the bone.
Leukemia is the second type of primary bone marrow cancer. It is somehow similar to multiple myeloma, the only difference being the fact that myeloma deals with plasma cells whereas leukemia deals with white blood cells. Actually, leukemia is divided into 4 different diseases.
These are; Chronic Myelogenous leukemia (CML), Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL), Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) and Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML). AML and ALL are caused by myeloblast also commonly referred to as blast cells or lymphoblast. Normally, the term ‘acute’ in the medical world is used to describe a kind of condition that spreads rapidly. This is the same with AML and ALL. Opposite to this, chronic myelogenous leukemia is rather slow to spread and contains very little cells.
Lymphoma is another form of primary bone marrow cancer. Just as the name suggest, it specifically affects the lymphatic system. Despite this, it can also get generated from the bone marrow.
Bone Marrow Cancer Symptoms
When it comes to the symptoms, this might be a bit tricky for some as the symptoms differ between different people especially in the early stages of the disorder. However, the very common symptoms include loss of appetite, fever and weight loss. In other cases, these three might be accompanied by a feeling of fatigue.
When the cancer becomes more intense, the symptoms tend to intensify. Examples include formation of a hard lump in the region of the affected bone; some swelling might also be visible as well as some stiff tender feeling on the skin.
In very severe cases, a slight accident can easily lead to very intense fractures. Other general symptoms include weakness, frequent dizziness, poor body immunity and hardness of breath.
Bone Marrow Cancer Treatment
Treatment for bone marrow can vary depending on a number of factors. But the good news is that yes, it is curable!
Some hospitals use radio therapy while others prefer using chemotherapy. In other cases, people get to be operated on while others simply go through a bone marrow transport.
Treatment is never enough, there has to be some complementary services to help you get better. This includes nutritional therapy, naturopathic medicine and counseling in severe cases.