Symptoms of Bone Marrow Cancer

Bone marrow is the soft, spongy central section of the bone. It is stuffed with a special type of cells known as stem cells. These cells have the ability to differentiate either as blood cells or immune system cells. When these cells turn malignant, symptoms of bone marrow cancer become apparent. Awareness of these signs help in diagnosis and commencement of early treatment.

Symptoms of Bone Marrow Cancer: Specific and Non-specific:

  • Pain in bones which gets intensified at night times
  • Stiffness
  • Tenderness in bone
  • Swelling
  • Unexplained fractures
  • Anemia or low count of red blood cells
  • Restriction of movement
  • Low resistance to infection
  • Hard lump on the bone
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fever
  • Poor appetite
  • General weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Dizziness

If the tumor (or the chunk of cancer cells) originates at the bone marrow itself, then such a tumor is known to be primary. If the ailment develops in one portion of the body and spreads to the bone marrow, the tumor is known as secondary.

The latter type of tumor comprises most of the cases of bone marrow cancer. Symptoms become apparent in the last stage. Diagnosis of these signs become futile as cure is not possible. Treatment aims at curbing the signs so as to buy some time for the patient.

The primary cancer types and the associated signs are:

Multiple Myeloma Bone Marrow Cancer Symptoms:

  • Intense pain in the rib cage, bones of the extremities and the skull
  • Bleeding gums
  • Anemia
  • Easy bruising
  • Fatigue
  • Nosebleeds
  • Unexplained fractures
  • Kidney failure
  • Persistent infections
  • Weight loss

Lymphoma Bone Marrow Cancer Symptoms:

The cancer primarily affects the lymphatic system and as the bone marrow is closely associated with this symptom, certain signs of cancer develop in these components of bones too. They are categorized under signs of Hodgkin Lymphoma.

Symptoms of Hodgkin Lymphoma:

  • Night sweats
  • Painless enlargement of lymph nodes
  • Enlargement of both spleen and liver
  • Fatigue
  • General pain
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Back pain
  • A skin condition called petechiae
  • Splenomegaly
  • Cyclical fever

Leukemia Bone Marrow Cancer Symptoms:

The bone marrow produces the cells of the immune system which is the natural protection mechanism of our body. An important type of cells belong to this group are the white blood cells. When they turn rogue, four types of cancers can develop. If they progress quickly, they are termed as acute. Otherwise, they are termed chronic.

Symptoms of Acute Myelogenous Leukemia:

  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Weight loss
  • Bleeding
  • Night sweats
  • Persistent infections

Symptoms of Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia:

  • Fatigue
  • Low platelet counts
  • Low white blood cell counts
  • Pain in the joints or bones
  • Prone to bleeding, infections and bruising
  • Enlarged lymph nodes, liver or spleen

Symptoms of Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia:
Low-grade fever
Excessive sweating
Swollen spleen produces pressure under the lower left ribs
Bleeding and bruising
Sudden appearance of a skin condition called petechiae

Symptoms of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia:

  • Swollen lymph nodes, liver and spleen
  • Infections
  • Anemia
  • Weakness

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