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Bone Marrow Queries

Bone Marrow is Soft Spongy Substance Inside Human Bones

Q. What causes bone marrow cancer?

Ans. The excess growth of plasma cells interferes with the body's ability to make red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. This causes anemia and makes a person more prone to infections and abnormal bleeding. As the cancer cells grow in the bone marrow, they cause pain and destruction of the bones.

Q. What can damage bone marrow?

Ans. Cancer such as leukaemia or lymphoma can damage the bone marrow and destroy blood stem cells. Cancer treatments, such as radiation and chemotherapy also destroy the bone marrow stem cells.

Q. What happens in case of bone marrow failure?

Ans. Bone marrow failure happens when bone marrow is unable keep up with the body's need to produce healthy blood cells. Aplastic Anemia, Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS) and Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria (PNH) are bone marrow failure diseases.

Q. How do you define Aplastic Anaemia?

Ans. The most common cause of acquired bone marrow failure is aplastic anemia. This is a condition that occurs when the body stops producing enough new blood cells. Aplastic anemia develops when damage occurs to the bone marrow, slowing or shutting down the production of new blood cells.

This is a rare and serious condition that can develop at any age suddenly or slowly and get worse with time. Aplastic anemia leaves a person feeling fatigued with a higher risk of infections and uncontrolled bleeding.

Q. In what ways aplastic anaemia can be treated?

Ans. Treatment for aplastic anemia may include medications, blood transfusions or a stem cell transplant, also known as a bone marrow transplant.

Q. What is Myelodysplastic blood disorder?

Ans. When a person has myelodysplastic, the bone marrow produces new blood cells, but they are deformed and underdeveloped unlike aplastic anemia in which new blood cells are not produced.

The bone marrow in myelodysplastic syndrome is sometimes called hyperplastic meaning that it's packed with blood cells. But some people with myelodysplastic syndrome have empty marrow that's difficult to distinguish from aplastic anemia.

Q. What are the risk factors to increase aplastic anaemia?

Ans. Aplastic anemia is a rare condition. Following factors may be the reasons to increase the risk of having this disease:

• Treatment with high-dose radiation or chemotherapy for cancer
• Exposure to toxic chemicals
• Some drugs which are used to treat bacterial infections, and gold compounds used to treat rheumatoid arthritis
• Autoimmune disorders and serious infections

Q. What are the symptoms of the bone marrow failure?

Ans. Anemia, Bone pain or fractures, infections (either viral or bacterial) numbness in the legs are major symptoms while confusion, constipation, nausea or vomiting and problem with urination are other common signs that signals that bone marrow stem cells are not working normally.

However it is important to get proper medical check up and all related test done to diagnose any disease.

Q. What is bone marrow test?

Ans. Bone marrow examination is commonly performed for the diagnosis and management of blood diseases.

Bone marrow sample is taken for pathologic analysis to check if one or more blood cell conditions are present in the blood where too few or too many of certain types of blood cells are produced. These tests are often done to find the reason if cancer or infection has spread to the bone marrow.

Bone marrow sample analysis is done in the context of related clinical history, physical examination and the results of a complete blood count and peripheral blood smear examination.

Q. In which condition bone marrow biopsy is needed?

Ans. If the blood tests show that the levels of platelets, white or red blood cells are too high or too low, then bone marrow biopsy is required to help determine the cause of these abnormalities, which can include any of the blood disorders such as leukopenia, leukocytosis, thrombocytopenia, thrombocytosis, pancytopenia and polycythemia.

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