Bone marrow is the soft tissue inside the bones that makes blood-forming cells known as blood stem cells. These grow into red blood cells (carry oxygen throughout the body), white blood cells (help fight infections), or platelets (help control bleeding).
Healthy marrow and blood cells are needed to live. When a disease such as cancer affects the bone marrow, the bone marrow may not function, requiring a marrow or cord blood transplant in some patients. Thousands of people with blood cancers and diseases – such as leukemia, lymphoma, and sickle cell anemia – depend on a bone marrow or cord blood transplant for treatment.
Read on for more information about transplants. This “Patient Education” tear sheet was produced in collaboration with the National Marrow Donor Program (bethematch.org).