Bone Marrow Cancer Symptoms

Bone marrow is the soft, spongy tissue in the center of most bones that contains blood-forming “immature” cells called stem cells. These stem cells mature into red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. When there is malignancy or cancer in the blood-forming cells of the bone marrow, it results in bone marrow cancer. Most commonly it occurs in the shafts of long bones.

Here are few symptoms of Bone marrow cancer:

  • Pain in one or more bones: This is the one of the most common symptoms of bone marrow cancer. This pain sometimes comes in waves and gets intensified in the night time hours.
  • Swelling, stiffness, or tenderness in the bone or near the joint
  • A hard lump on the bone
  • Restriction of movement
  • Unexplained fractures
  • Low red blood cells or anaemia
  • Lowered resistance to infections

Some of the non-specific symptoms of bone marrow cancer include:

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Poor appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath
  • General weakness

Depending upon whether the cancer originated in the bone marrow itself or reached it through metastasis, bone marrow cancer can be divided into primary and secondary types.

In most of the cases of this type of cancer, the disease is secondary and reaches the bone marrow as part of metastasis process. It is the technical name given to the spread of malignant cancer cells from an organ where the cancer first developed (like lungs, prostate or breast) to a specific location in the body. By this stage, the symptoms of the disease, which earlier remain latent, become apparent. Unfortunately, it means that the disease crossed the stage of being curable and can only be treated. If the disease is primary and detected early, it can addressed better. Knowledge about the symptoms of this type of bone marrow cancer becomes imperative in such circumstances. Some of the primary bone marrow cancer types and their symptoms are:

Multiple Myeloma Bone Marrow Cancer Symptoms:

The bone marrow produces all the four components of blood namely, the red blood cells, the white blood cells, platelets and plasma. Multiple myeloma happens when the there is an abnormal production of plasma cells. These cells generally produce antibodies. Their excess production by cancerous cells in bone marrow causes impairment of immune system, damage of kidneys and pain in bones. The word multiple means that this type of cancer can effects different parts of the body wherever the bone marrow is present. Some symptoms of multiple myeloma are:

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

Leukemia Bone Marrow Cancer Symptoms:

Abnormal production of white blood cells in the bone marrow by the malignant cancer cells causes this disease. There are four types of this disease. The types which progress the disease very rapidly in the absence of any treatment are termed “acute” and the types which progress slowly are termed “chronic”.

Symptoms of Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia:

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

Symptoms of Acute Myelogenous Leukemia:

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

Symptoms of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia:

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

Symptoms of Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia:

  • Low-grade fever
  • Bleeding and bruising
  • Weakness
  • Excessive sweating
  • Fatigue
  • Swollen spleen produces pressure under the lower left ribs
  • Sudden appearance of a skin condition called petechiae

Lymphoma Bone Marrow Cancer Symptoms: It generally affects the lymphatic system. Sometimes the bone marrow also gets affected. One such case where the bone marrow is also affected is the hodgkin lymphoma.

Symptoms of Hodgkin lymphoma:

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

3 responses to Bone Marrow Cancer Symptoms

  1. dear Sir,

    my sister having the bone marrow cancer , if any treatment for this cancer.

    my sister age is 24 year & wt is 36 kg height is 4.4 ft. actual my sister past 2 month back married after married within a month feaver occurs & croos verfiy the blood plated counts 10,000 & WBC 7.6 & Hb is 9.6 % . we was attemeted in hospital doctor told to me she is blood cancer paisent.

    please suggest me any treatment for this cancer sir.

    thanks & Regrads
    Ravishankar MV

  2. I went to my family doctor- he recommended that I see a cancer doctor, he thinks I’m not producing blood, I’m not losing blood, I’m just not making blood, because about every two months or sooner I have to get 2 units of blood at the hospital. So would that be a sign of bone cancer ? I’m confused, because, if that is what I have, I don’t want to know, I had 2 sisters die from this very same thing. My dad died from liver cancer, and he never drank a day in his life !!! Any thing you can help me get through this, it would be appreciated, I do have appointment with a cancer doctor on the 16th of this month.
    Thank you,

  3. Dear sir,
    This is noori my big my mom have bone cancer adn she have a pain in her right hip and now we consult with some doctor and he din said anything so if you can can you help me future and tell me it is curable are not and her age is 62 weight is 44 kg and 145 cm height and i am awaiting for you reply and some good suggestion
    Thanks & regards

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