Early Symptoms of Bone Marrow Cancer

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Nov 09, 2011

Early Symptoms of Bone Marrow Cancer

Bone marrow cancer usually takes place in the large bone cavities filled with soft tissues. Stem cells present in the marrow that develop into different kinds of cells such as red and white blood cells can become malignant and there are many early symptoms to detect this affliction.


General Symptoms


Primarily, the patient should be aware that symptoms may vary from person to person and only the doctor is qualified to rule out the existence of cancerous growth and the dangers it can pose to your body. Continued loss of appetite, weight loss and weakness are warnings of any kind of malignancy. When combined with specific symptoms a proper diagnosis can be made.




If you experience intermittent pain at one or multiple bone sites that gets particularly intense at night consult an orthopaedic doctor immediately.


Physical Observations


Hard lumps, swellings and stiff joints can also be considered early symptoms of bone marrow cancer.


Other symptoms


Watch out for fractures from minor injuries, reduced immunity and anaemia.


Various Bone Marrow Cancers and their Early Symptoms:


Multiple Myeloma


Malignant growth of plasma cells causes this type of bone marrow cancer. Along with the symptoms described above the patient may have gum and nose bleeds with a general pale appearance because of anaemia.




An overgrowth in white blood cells causes leukaemia and major early signs are swollen lymph nodes, enlarged liver and spleen, acute pain in the joints, fever and fatigue. Petechiae or red rashes due to damaged capillaries and haemorrhage may also occur. Within the category of Leukaemia there are:

  • Acute Lymphocytic Leukaemia marked by low platelets and white blood cell counts.
  • Acute Myelogenous Leukaemia evinced in lowered capability of the body to fight otherwise benign infections, weakness and weight loss.
  • Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia with swollen lymph nodes and debility.
  • Chronic Myelogenous Leukaemia with enlarged and painful spleen, fever and easy bleeding with minor cuts.

Hodgkin Lymphoma


Bone marrow cancer that affects the lymph nodes is called Hodgkin lymphoma. It is marked by a painless yet enlarged spleen and liver along with the lymph nodes. The patient may experience pain all over the body or specifically on the back. Petechiae can also occur. Most importantly, if you are suffering from regular bouts of fever along with enlarged lymph nodes you should be checked for Hodgkin lymphoma.

Most times, bone marrow cancer is a direct result of involvement due to an overgrowth that is rooted in a particular organ. Most diagnosis can find out the point of origin and treat it accordingly. Patients should also not consider isolated symptoms and panic. For instance, an enlarged spleen could also be a result of a bacterial infection.




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