Aplastic anemia (a-PLAS-tik uh-NEE-me-uh) is a blood disorder in which the body's bone marrow doesn't make enough new blood cells. Bone marrow is a sponge-like tissue inside the bones. It makes stem cells that develop into red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets (PLATE-lets).
Red blood cells carry oxygen to all parts of your body. They also remove carbon dioxide (awaste product) from your body's cells and carry it to the lungs to be exhaled. White blood cells help your body fight infections. Platelets are blood cell fragments that stick together to seal small cuts or breaks on blood vessel walls and stop bleeding.
It's normal for blood cells to die. The lifespan of red blood cells is about 120 days. White blood cells live less than 1 day. Platelets liveabout 6 days. As a result, your bone marrow must constantly make new blood cells.
If your bone marrow is unable to make enough new blood cells, a number of health problems can occur. These include arrhythmias (ah-RITH-me-ahs), an enlarged heart, heart failure, infections, and bleeding. Severe aplastic anemia can even cause death.
Fanconi anemia (fan-KO-nee uh-NEE-me-uh), or FA, is arare, inherited blood disorder that leads to bone marrow failure.
FA prevents your bone marrow from making enough new blood cells for your body to work normally. FA also can cause your bone marrow to make many abnormal blood cells. This can lead to serious health problems, such as leukemia (a type of blood cancer).
FA is a blood disorder, but it also can affect many of your body's organs,tissues, and systems. Children who inherit FA are at higher risk of being born with birth defects. People who have FA are at higher risk of some cancers and other serious health problems.
FA is different from Fanconi syndrome. Fanconi syndrome affects the kidneys. It's a rare and serious condition that mostly affects children. Children who have Fanconi syndrome pass large amounts of key nutrientsand chemicals through their urine, which leads to serious health and developmental problems
f you or your child has FA, you face a greater risk than other people for some cancers. About 10 percent of people who have FA develop leukemia.
People who have FA and survive to adulthood are much more likely than others to develop cancerous solid tumors. The risk of solid tumors increases with age inpeople who have FA. These tumors can develop in the mouth, tongue, throat, or esophagus (the passage leading from the mouth to the stomach).
Women who have FA are at much greater risk of developing tumors in the reproductive organs than women who don't have the disease.
FA is an unpredictable disease. The average lifespan for people who have FA is between 20 and 30 years. The most common causesof death related to FA are bone marrow failure, leukemia, and solid tumors.
New medical advances have improved the chances of surviving longer with FA. Blood and marrow stem cell transplant is the major advance in treatment. However, even with this treatment, the risk of some cancers is greater in people who have FA.
Hemolytic anemia (HEE-moh-lit-ick uh-NEE-me-uh) is acondition in which red blood cells are destroyed and removed from the bloodstream before their normal lifespan is up.
Red blood cells are disc-shaped and look like doughnuts without holes in the center. These cells carry oxygen and remove carbon dioxide (a waste product) from your body. Red blood cells are made in the bone marrow—a sponge-like tissue inside the bones. They live for about 120 days inthe bloodstream and then die.
White blood cells and platelets (PLATE-lets) also are made in the bone marrow. White blood cells help fight infection. Platelets stick together to seal small cuts or breaks on blood vessel walls and stop bleeding. When blood cells die, the body's bone marrow makes more blood cells to replace them. However, in hemolytic anemia, the bone marrow can't make red blood...
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