Bone marrow tests are performed for many reasons, but the commonest ones are:
- Detecting bone marrow involvement by a cancer - many cancers, notably lymphomas spread from their primary site to different organs of the body, including the bone marrow. A bone marrow test can tell whether the cancer has spread to the marrow.
- Detecting cancers of the blood - blood cancers or leukemias are diagnosed mainly be detecting cancer cells in the marrow.
- Finding the cause of anemia - some individuals may have anemias that are not correctly diagnosed unless a bone marrow biopsy is performed.
- Bone marrow infiltration by other diseases - certain infections and metabolic disorders may infiltrate the bone marrow. A bone marrow test can help diagnosing such disorders.