Bone marrow is a tissue found inside our bones which is responsible for making blood. Cancer which develops here is known as bone marrow cancer. Research by cancer hospitals in India has found that there are different types of cancers of the blood and bone marrow such as –
- Multiple Myeloma- This is considered to be the most common form of blood cancer which affects the white blood cells that are responsible for fighting infections. The cancer cells here are responsible for ending the healthy cells and weakening the bones.
- Leukaemia- A type of blood cancer in which the body makes abnormal blood cells at an unprecedented rate. This leaves little or no room for the healthy blood cells. The rate can be slow or fast and based on which the treatment type varies.
- Lymphoma- This can begin in the lymph nodes and spread to the bone marrow or the white blood cells.
- Childhood Leukaemia- A kind of cancer which is found in children and teenagers which begins from bone marrow or in the blood and spreads to other parts of the body.
Diagnosis Of Cancer
To establish whether you have bone marrow or blood cancer or not, doctors will conduct what is known as a bone marrow test. This helps establish whether a normal amount of blood cells are getting created or not. There are two ways in which this is done. These are –
- Aspiration- In this process, the doctor takes a small amount of the bone marrow fluid using a needle. This helps them understand whether you have a fever or infection and what the problem is exactly.
- Biopsy- If the results of the aspiration are not conclusive, then a bone marrow biopsy is done. In this, a small piece of the marrow is removed using a larger needle.
The course of treatment will depend entirely on the type of cancer which the patient has and the extent to which it has spread. Some of these include –
- Immunotherapy- This form of treatment helps in boosting the immune system. Here, artificial forms of the immune system may be used for killing or slowing the grow rate of the cancer cells.
- Radiation- Gamma rays or X-rays are used to directly attack and shrink the tumours. Radiation also helps in killing the cancer cells by attacking their DNA.
- Chemotherapy- In this case, cancer-fighting drugs are used. These drugs can be taken orally or intravenously. They can also be used in combination with other drugs using radiation.
- Targeted Drug Therapy- These drugs can identify the changes which take place in the body which lead to cancer and act accordingly. Further, they are known to cause fewer side-effects than chemotherapy.
- Stem Cell Transplant- This is done for sure for those patients who receive strong doses of chemotherapy which kills the bone marrow cells. Bone marrow contains stem cells which are responsible for the formation of blood cells. This is why stem cell transplant is done which helps in the creation of stem cells in the bone marrow. Stem cell transplant is done intravenously.