Procedure for Bone Marrow Cancer Treatment


What is Bone Marrow Cancer Treatment?

The objective of the bone marrow cancer treatment is to replace the damaged or abnormal bone marrow with healthy bone marrow stem cells. This treatment is done in combination with with very high dose chemotherapy and sometimes with radiotherapy treating bone marrow cancer. The treatment is effective in treating several types of blood cancers such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma.

Bone Marrow Cancer Symptoms

Bone marrow cancer symptoms can differ from person to person. Some of the common symptoms are –

  • Fever
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue.

These initial signs of bone marrow cancer may be very subtle and erratic causing the patient to think it is normal and hence are usually ignored. This results in the spread of the cancer to other parts of the body. Other significant symptoms include -

  • Pain
  • Hard lump on the affected bone
  • Tenderness
  • Swelling or stiffness in the bone, near or inside a joint
  • Frequent fractures with no reason
  • Anaemia – low on red blood cells
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath
  • General weakness

What is Bone Marrow Transplant?

A bone marrow transplant or BMT is performed to replace the damaged bone marrow with the healthy bone marrow stem cells. Certain immature cells, known as stem cells create new blood cells that reside in the bone marrow.

There are two types of BMT:

  • Autologous bone marrow transplant; and
  • Allogeneic bone marrow transplant.

What is Allogeneic Bone Marrow Transplant?

Allogeneic bone marrow transplant is when the required stem cells for the treatment are obtained from a donor. The donor in this case must have a genetic match with the patient. A number of blood tests are done to establish the genetic match.

The second type of BMT is known as autologous bone marrow transplant. When stem cells are taken from one’s own blood/bone marrow, it is called an autologous transplant.

Can Bone Marrow Cancer Be Cured?

Bone marrow transplant is a treatment method used to treat several life threatening bone marrow related conditions and diseases. There are patients who still suffer from this condition without treatment due to the lack of compatible bone marrow donors. There is a 25% chance of bone marrow compatibility, if the donor is a sibling.

Risks of Bone Marrow Transplant

Some of the risks of bone marrow transplant include:

  • Graft-versus-host disease especially in case of allogeneic transplant
  • Graft/Stem cell failure
  • Damage to the organ
  • Infections
  • Eye problems like cataracts
  • Problems related to infertility
  • Originating new cancers
  • Death

Bone Marrow Cancer Survival Rate

Bone marrow cancer survival rates detected in the first stage are at 84.5 per cent when compared to other cancer stages. The sooner the bone marrow cancer detected and better medications provided the chances of surviving are higher.

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