Procedure for Multiple Myeloma


What is Multiple Myeloma?

Multiple myeloma, also known as myeloma, is a type of cancer that develops in plasma cells (type of white blood cells).

Plasma cells are an essential part of our body’s immune system that fight against infections by generating antibodies which spot and attack the harmful germs. Plasma cells are generated in the bone marrow and in multiple myeloma, the cancer cells start to accumulate instead of healthy cells. Such cancer cells crowd out the healthy blood cells and produce abnormal proteins instead of antibodies.

Complications of Multiple Myeloma

Multiple myeloma could advance severely to develop the following complications -

  • Kidney damage – Abnormal production of proteins by the cancer cells in the bone marrow could damage the kidneys and to an extent lead to kidney failure.
  • Reduces healthy blood cells– Cancer cells crowd out the healthy blood cells and they reduce in number. Reduction in the number of the white cells reduces ones immunity making one susceptible for infections. Reduced count of the red cells makes one anaemic while reduced platelet count results in thinning of blood.
  • Calcium deficiency and weaker bones – Cancer cells produce a substance which speeds up dissolving bones and they in turn become weakened and are brittle.

Stages of Multiple Myeloma

Multiple myeloma stages are determined based on the severity of the condition and are commonly categorized into 3 stages. Each of these stages is further divided into category A and B – this is depending on kidney damage.

Stage 1: In this stage, there are fewer cancer cells in the body, and one might not show any warning signs. Multiple myeloma prognosis is considered severe even at this stage if the kidney is affected.

Stage 2: Cancer cells start to develop rigorously and symptoms begin to come out.

Stage 3: Many cancer cells overly develop in the body and it is severe.

Symptoms of End Stage Multiple Myeloma

Sometimes symptoms of myeloma are displayed only at the end stage. End stage multiple myeloma symptoms include –

  • Weight loss
  • Loss of hunger
  • Excessive thirst
  • Bone pain
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue/ nausea
  • Constipation
  • Frequent infections

Risks of Multiple Myeloma

Generally, myeloma is not considered to be inherited or genetically carried, instead they are acquired in middle. The common risks of multiple myeloma are –

  • Age - you are turning old
  • Males are more prone to this condition than women
  • Black men are at an increased risk than white men
  • A family history puts one at the risk of this condition

What is the Multiple Myeloma Life Expectancy?

Researches indicate that average multiple myeloma life expectancy is about 4 years, although exceptionally there are people who live even for 10-20 years with myeloma. However, this depends on the early diagnosis of the multiple myeloma condition. One can successfully overcome this issue with an early detection and treatment.

Survival Rate Of Multiple Myeloma?

Researches have indicated that average multiple myeloma survival rate in patients living at least 5 years after the condition is about 49%. Yet again, this to an early is subject to an early diagnosis and effective treatment.

Is multiple myeloma curable?

Myeloma cannot be completely cured, although with the advancements in the medical field symptoms and discomforts to the patients can be reduced to greater extent.

The objectives of multiple myeloma treatment are as follows:

  • To eliminate multiple myeloma cells
  • Control the growth and spread of cancer cells
  • Reduce pain and other complications
  • Help the patients to lead an active and happy life

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