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What are the signs and symptoms of bone marrow disease?

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The most important signs of bone marrow diseases, such as multiple myeloma, are referred to as CRAB: excessive calcium in the blood, renal damage, and anemia or bone damage, according to Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research. Severe, persistent back pain is the most common symptom among patients diagnosed with multiple myeloma.

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Full Answer

Multiple myeloma is a form of cancer that affects plasma cells, and is also referred to as bone or bone marrow cancer. In myeloma patients, collections of abnormal plasma cells accumulate in the bone marrow and interfere with the production of normal blood cells. Multiple myeloma affects about 1 in 200 individuals, and can be treated through chemotherapy, radiotherapy or stem cell transplantation.

The following are common symptoms of multiple myeloma: a feeling of sickness, loss of appetite, constipation, frequent urination and dehydration. Other symptoms include a sense of being confused or dazed, renal damage, itchy skin, nausea, impotence in men and fluid retention that makes the ankles swell or causes shortness of breath, according to Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research.

Other noncancerous bone marrow diseases also exist and can lead to anemia, a condition in which the blood is either low in total volume or deficient in hemoglobin or red blood cells. The three most common bone diseases that can lead to anemia are myelodysplastic syndrome, aplastic anemia and paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria, Everyday Health reports.

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