Multiple myeloma what is it
It is a cancer that begins in plasma cells in the bone marrow. Bone marrow is the soft, spongy tissue found in the interior of the majority of the bones and helps produce blood cells.
Plasma cells help the body fight disease producing proteins called antibodies. With multiple myeloma, plasma cells multiply without control in the bone marrow and form tumors in areas of solid bone.
These bone tumor growth weakens the bones solid and also makes it more difficult for the bone marrow the formation of healthy blood cells and platelets.
The exact cause of multiple myeloma is not clear. The old treatment with radiation therapy increases the risk of this type of cancer. Multiple myeloma mainly affects older adults.
Multiple myeloma often causes a low count of red blood cells (anemia), which can lead to if you fatigue and shortness of breath. Multiple myeloma can also cause a low white blood cell count, resulting in a greater propensity to get infections. This type of myeloma can also cause a low platelet count, which can cause abnormal bleeding.
As the cancer cells multiply in the bone marrow, there may be pain in bones or in the back, almost always on ribs or back.
Cancer cells can weaken bones. Broken bones (bone fractures) with merely perform daily activities you can develop.
If cancer proliferates in the bones of the spine, there may be pressure on the nerves, which can lead to numbness or weakness in your arms or legs.
Tests and examinations
Blood tests for renal activity
- Level of total protein
- Level of calcium
- Level of albumin
- Blood tests can help diagnose this disease and some include:
- CBC, or complete blood count (CBC)
- Blood and urine tests to verify and identify proteins or antibodies (immunofixation)
- Blood tests to measure quickly and accurately the specific level of certain proteins called immunoglobulins (nephelometry)
Bone x-rays may show fractures or hollow bone areas. If your doctor suspects that you may have this type of cancer, a bone marrow biopsy will take place.
Bone density tests may show loss of bone.
It usually is not for people with mild cases of the disease or with a doubtful diagnosis treatment; Instead, becomes a thorough follow-up. Some people have a form of multiple myeloma of slow development (asymptomatic multiple myeloma) that takes years to cause symptoms.
Chemotherapy is used regularly to treat multiple myeloma and is given more frequently to prevent complications, such as kidney damage and bone fractures.
Radiotherapy may be done to relieve bone pain or to treat a bone tumor.
Two types of bone marrow transplantation may be tried:
- Autologous bone marrow or stem cell transplantation is done by using the own stem cells.
- The allogeneic makes use of stem cells from another person. This treatment involves serious risks, but it offers the possibility of a cure in the long run.
The survival of people with multiple myeloma depends on the patient’s age and the stage of the disease. In some cases, the disease progresses rapidly, while in others it takes years to get worse.
Chemotherapy and transplants rarely take a permanent cure.
Kidney failure is a frequent complication.
Other complications may include:
- Fractures of bones.
- High levels of calcium in the blood, which can be very dangerous.
- Increase the chance of infection, especially in the lungs.
- Weakness or loss of movement due to the tumor pressing on the spinal cord.
When to contact a medical professional
Consult your doctor if you suffer from multiple myeloma and develops an infection, numbness, loss of movement or loss of sensation.
Malignant plasmacytoma, Plasmacytoma of the bone, Plasma cell myeloma, Plasma cell dyscrasia.