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Bone Marrow Failure

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Updated October 01, 2008

Bone marrow is inside the bones

Bone marrow is inside the bones

Photo © A.D.A.M.
Definition: Inside the bones of your body is a soft, fatty tissue called bone marrow that produces three blood cells: red cells, white cells and platelets. In healthy people, this cell factory makes enough blood cells to meet the body's needs. If the bone marrow does not make enough blood cells, or none at all, it is called bone marrow failure. Things that may cause bone marrow failure are chemotherapy (though it is rare and goes away after treatment), radiation therapy, a tumor, leukemia, lymphoma or a disease such as a myeloproliferative disorder.
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