What is the Prognosis of Bone Marrow Cancer?

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Jun 27, 2011

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Quick Bites

  • Treatment of bone marrow cancer depends on the patient’s age.
  • Bone marrow cancer prognosis is poor despite remarkable advances in therapy.
  • Stem cell transplants have been very effective in healing bone marrow cancer.
  • Pain killers have improved the quality of life of bone marrow cancer patients.

Bone marrow cancer, medically termed as multiple myeloma, is a cancer of white blood cells in the bone marrow that are responsible for the production of antibodies. Over production of white blood cells collect in the bones where they cause bone lesions and in the bone marrow, they interfere with the production of normal blood cells, downwardly affecting thebone marrow cancer prognosis. An attendant problem is the production of abnormal antibodies that cause kidney problems that stops the production of normal antibodies,harming the natural immune system of the patient. High calcium levels in the blood (hypercalcaemia) is also found in persons suffering from bone marrow cancer.

Bone marrow cancer

Treatment of bone marrow cancer depends on the patient’s age and other diseases that may be present. Bone marrow cancer prognosis has improved with the use of stem cell transplantation in which the patient’s own stem cells (autologous) are used after chemotherapy, the most commonly used form of treatment in multiple myeloma. It does not cure, but prolongs overall survival. Allogeneic stem cell transplantation, the transplantation of a healthy person’s stem cells into the affected person has the potential for cure and better prognosisbut is mostly unavailable.

Bone marrow cancer prognosis is not bright despite remarkable advances in therapy. Thus treatment is aimed at relieving symptoms, destroying abnormal plasma cells and slowing the progression of the disease.

Many new combinations are being tried, for people younger than 70, one of which involves several months of conventional chemotherapy followed by high-dose chemotherapy. Since such treatments are also toxic to normal blood cells produced in the bone marrow, stem cells that transform into immature blood cells, which then mature to form red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets are collected from the person’s blood before the high-dose chemotherapy is applied. These stem cells are returned to the person after the high dose treatment.

Bone marrow cancer prognosis
Even though no cure is available for bone marrow cancer, the bone marrow cancer prognosisof this disease has tremendously improved, with the average survival rates almost doubled. However survival times vary, depending on kidney problems, blood levels of certain proteins like serum albumin and genetic characteristics at the time of diagnosis and response to treatment. New drugs such as bisphosphonates reduce bony complications, substances thatstimulate the production of red and white blood cells and pain relievers have improved the quality of life.

In conclusion, myelomais a cancer of plasma cells, a type of white blood cell normally responsible for the production of antibodies. Due to overproduction of abnormal white blood cells, they cause bone lesions, and affect the kidney. This interferes with the production of normal antibodies making the person prone to infections.

Bone marrow cancer prognosis is poor, but various new drugs like bisphosphonates have reduced complications, substances that stimulate the production of new red and white blood cells and new pain relievers have improved the quality of life. New therapies have improved the prognosis of bone marrow cancer. Steroids have been used with great effect; stem cell transplants have been very effective. The stem cells could be from the person or from a donor and offer hope for those affected.

Now bone marrow cancer prognosis is much better -people survive many years after successful treatment.

Read more articles on Bone Marrow Cancer.

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