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Top 4 Questions on the Bone Marrow Test

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Updated June 15, 2007

The bone marrow test is a common procedure perdormed when doctors test for cancers and blood diseases. Here are answers to four commonly asked questions on bone marrow biopsy and aspiration.

1. What is a bone marrow test?

A bone marrow test is a simple procedure that involves collecting a small sample of cells or tissue from the bone marrow. The test couls be a bone marrow aspiration or a bone marrow biopsy or both.

2. Why is a bone marrow test required?

A bone marrow test may be required in a variety of situations. In cancers a bone marrow test can detect abnormal marrow cells or infiltration by cancer cells from other parts of the body. In anemias, a bone marrow test can detect an abnormal marrow composition helping doctors to diagnose the type of anemia.

3. How is the bone marrow test performed?

The bone marrow aspiration or biopsy involves the insertion of a needle inside the bone marrow of the hip bone and removing a small sample of cells or tissue for examination under the microscope. Find out the steps of a bone marrow aspiration or biopsy.

4. What does the bone marrow report show?

The bone marrow report can throw light on a number of factors involving the marrow. It can tell us whether the proportion of the different cells in the marrow are normal. It can detect the presence of leukemias and other cancers including lymphomas.

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