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Bone marrow biopsy

The doctor may recommend a bone marrow biopsy if a blood abnormality is detected or if it is suspected that the cancer originated or traveled to the bone marrow.

The bone marrow is the spongy material inside some larger bones where blood cells are produced. Analyzing a sample of bone marrow can reveal what is causing the blood problem.

Bone marrow biopsy is commonly used to diagnose a variety of blood problems, both non-cancerous and cancerous, including blood cancers, such as leukemia, lymphoma and multiple myeloma. A bone marrow biopsy can also detect cancers that started elsewhere and traveled to the bone marrow.

During a bone marrow biopsy, the doctor removes a sample of bone marrow from the back of the hip bone with a long needle. In some cases, the doctor may do a bone marrow biopsy of other bones in the body. You receive a local anesthetic before a bone marrow biopsy to minimize discomfort during the procedure.

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