The soft and spongy tissue comprising the center of the bone is known as bone marrow. The marrow is made up of immature cells, they are also known as stem cells.
These cells after getting matured develop into red blood cells (which supply oxygen to the body tissues), white blood cells (they protect the body by fighting against the infection), and platelets (help in blood coagulation). Cancer of these cells in the bone marrow is called bone marrow cancer.
Cancer Of Bone Marrow Types
Various types of bone marrow cancer in brief:
When the cancer in the bone marrow occurs due to the spread from the primary site such as prostate cancer or the lung cancer it is known as secondary bone cancer.
Primary bone marrow cancer is the cancer of the cells itself in the marrow that forms the blood.
- Multiple myeloma: cancer developing from the blood plasma cells.
- Leukemia: when there is production of abnormal white blood cells from the bone marrow.
- Lymphomas: the cancer occurs in lymph nodes, but sometimes it can start in the bone marrow.
Bone Marrow Cancer Survival Rate
Most of the bone marrow cancer has reduced life expectancy. Even when they survive they have the lifetime risk.
Compared to whites, African Americans have more probability of suffering from this dreaded disease.
Bone marrow cancer can have a favorable outcome if detected and treated early.
Prognosis of bone marrow cancer depends on various factors such as the age of the patient, severity of the cancer, stage of the cancer, health of the patient, and nature of treatment.
Survival rate is between 28 to 35 %.
Cancer Of Bone Marrow Life Expectancy
Life expectancy for various types of bone marrow cancer are:
- Multiple myeloma: the disease runs chronic course for few years. Most of the patients succumb to their disease within 36 to 48 months.
Certain factors are important in considering the prognosis of multiple myeloma, such as staging, B2 microglobulin, plasma cell globulin index, C reactive protein, LDH.
Elevated LDH is associated with more frequent resistance to the treatment, and short survival rate.
Using B2 microglobulin and C reactive protein as prognostic factors the patient can be divided into three risk groups: low risk if CRP and B2 microglobulin are low.
Average risk if anyone of them is high.
High risk if both is high.
Survival in acute lymphoblastic leukemia has improved from 1% in 1965 to 90% in recent times. Improvement in preventing and treating the infection has helped to decrease the leukemia fatality rate in ALL.
Less than 1/3rd of the patients with acute myeloid leukemia who are treated with the current intensive chemotherapy are permanently cured.
Bone marrow transplant has increased the life expectancy. The advent of newer techniques and modern apparatus has increased hopes of the survival of patients.
Based on a five year study, the life expectancy has been elevated from 28 percent to 35 percent and ten year survival rate as in multiple myeloma has increased from 11 percent to 18 percent in recent times.
Stage 4 bone marrow cancer survival rates: it is the stage where the cancer has spread to different organs and it has been detected after the spread. The survival rate is very poor.