How Do People Feel about Bone Marrow Exams?

By Deborah Collyar

The term “bone marrow exam” can strike fear into the hearts of patients. After all, it doesn’t give someone a warm, fuzzy feeling. The test can be important, though, to find out if cancer cells have spread to the bone. This test may also help researchers learn more about breast cancer that moves to bones, so they can create better prevention or treatment for bone metastasis (mets).

Bonnie King, an investigator from Stanford, currently uses a bone model to study how cancer cells grow, and how they respond to different treatments. I worked with Bonnie on this new approach through a California Breast Cancer Research Program grant. Her next steps may use samples from bone marrow exams, so we wanted to find out how people feel about them.

Thanks to 190 METAvivor members, we found out! Here are the results of the survey. And if you ever need a bone marrow exam, read this information and share it with your doctor beforehand. It may lead to a better experience.

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