Blood and Bone Marrow Failure

Bone marrow is the spongy tissue inside some of your bones, such as your hip and thigh bones. It contains immature cells, called stem cells. The stem cells can develop into the red blood cells that carry oxygen through your body, the white blood cells that fight infections, and the platelets that help with blood clotting.

If you have a bone marrow disease, there are problems with the stem cells or how they develop. Leukemia is a cancer in which the bone marrow produces abnormal white blood cells.

With aplastic anemia, the bone marrow doesn't make red blood cells. Other diseases, such as lymphoma, can spread into the bone marrow and affect the production of blood cells. Other causes of bone marrow disorders include your genetic makeup and environmental factors.

Symptoms of bone marrow diseases vary. Treatments depend on the disorder and how severe it is. They might involve medicines, blood transfusions or a bone marrow transplant.

Bone marrow failure occurs in individuals who produce an insufficient amount of red blood cells, white blood cells or platelets.

Red blood cells determine how much oxygen needs to be distributed throughout the body's tissue. White blood cells are constantly helping fight off germs and infections that enter the body.

Bone marrow contains platelets, which clot then helps stop the blood flow when a wound occurs.

The cause of bone marrow failure is associated with three types of diseases, fanconi anemia, dyskeratosis congenita, and aplastic anemia.

Fanconi anemia is an inherited blood disorder due to abnormal breakouts in DNA genes. It is linked to hyperpigmentation, which is the darkening of an area of skin or nails caused by increased melanin.

According to Histopathology, "However, in about 30% of FA patients no physical abnormalities are found".

Dyskeratosis congenita often affects multiple parts of the body. Individuals with this disorder usually show changes in skin pigmentations, unusual fingernail growth, and mucosa leukoplakia; the inner part of the mouth is encased with white patches that tend to never go away. Aplastic anemia happens when bone marrow doesn't produce enough new blood cells throughout the body.

Aplastic anemia is an acquired autoimmune disease, which occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys healthy body tissue.