Fanconi Anemia is a severe form of bone marrow malfunction, where it is incapable of generating all three forms of blood cells, including the red blood cells, the platelets and the white blood cells. This disease has a very low incidence, almost one in three lakh children are likely to be born with a genetic defect that puts the bone marrow totally out of order. In the absence of early detection, Fanconi Anemia can have fatal consequences, as no particular organ is free from its reach. Heart, liver, kidney, brain, any organ can be hampered by the underproduction or faulty production of all three forms of red blood cells.
The major issue with this disease it that a person can also end with blood cancer, which may become increasingly difficult to treat with the passage of time. It is highly important for the patients to follow the instructions of their doctor and get their blood regularly tested to keep a proper track record of the total blood cell count.
Bone Marrow is central to the essential fluid production. It is the cushion between the bones, housing stem cells, responsible for generation of all three categories of blood cells. “The red blood cells are carriers of vital nutrients and they also oxygenate the tissues, providing them energy to carry out their respective functions. Moreover, they also extract carbon dioxide residue and direct it to lungs for instant release. The principal function of white blood cells is to act as soldiers, guarding the fort of the body from intrusions by harmful microorganisms and if somehow they manage to enter the body, it uses white blood cells as weapons to battle the infections. On the other hand, the platelets come into play, to act as a glue that stops the flow of the blood whenever we get wounded. In other words, they facilitate blood clotting.”
A lifespan is attached to each of these cells: the red blood cells have the longest life span lasting up to three months; the white blood cells have the shortest life span, they die in about 24 hours, whereas the platelets survive for about a week. Due to uneven life spans of various blood cells, the bone marrow must function in full-swing to maintain an ideal balance between blood cells. However, when the bone marrow function is not up to the mark, the body is gripped by severe symptoms.
Since Fanconi Anemia has wide implication for the body, it must be diagnosed at the earliest.