THE DREADED MULTIPLE MYELOMA
Cancer shakes family and friends, and not just the person with the disease.
The people in your life may also feel worried, angry, or afraid that’s how the cancer word unsettles everyone around the patient.
How Dangerous Is Multiple Myeloma?
Multiple Myeloma is an aggressive form of cancer, which advances to plasma cell leukaemia or spreads outside the bone marrow rapidly.
Multiple myeloma, also known as Kahler’s disease, is a type of blood cancer.
Complications Associated With Multiple Myeloma
Bone problems – The bones become frailer, leading to fractures.
Blood problems – One might get anaemic, indicating that the body doesn’t have enough red blood cells. This leads to fatigue, tiredness and heart problems. The numbers of platelets are also few, which make it tougher for your blood to clot.
Infections – When a person has myeloma, the body produces a lot of weak antibodies that crowd out healthy ones, making it harder for the body to fight infection. Lack of white blood cells can also weaken your immune system.
Kidney damage – Myeloma clogs the kidneys so they don’t filter the way they should, leading to kidney failure.
What Causes Multiple Myeloma?
The white blood cell called a plasma cell makes antibodies that combat infections in your body.
When a person suffers from multiple myeloma, these cells multiply the wrong way. Building up throughout your body and damaging our organs.
What Is The Survival Rate Of Multiple Myeloma?
The approximate survival rate is 5-year for people with multiple myeloma are 54%.
For the 5% of people who are diagnosed of the disease at an early stage, the 5-year survival rate is 75%.
But if the cancer has blown-out to distant parts of the body, the 5-year survival rate is 53%.
What Are Risk Factors For Person Suffering From Multiple Myeloma?
The peril of developing multiple myelomas shoots up as people get older.
Less than 1% of cases are analysed in people younger than 35.
Maximum people diagnosed with this cancer are at least 65 years old.
Men are more susceptible to develop multiple myeloma than women.
Multiple myeloma is twice more prevalent in African Americans than in white Americans. The reason is yet unknown.
Multiple myeloma seems to run in families. A person who has a sibling or parent with myeloma is more prospective to get it than someone whose family history is clear of multiple myeloma.
Still there are a lot of patients who have no history of multiple myeloma, so genes accounts for only a small number of cases.
Being overweight or obese increases a person’s risk of developing myeloma.
Having Other Plasma Cell Diseases
People who suffer with monoclonal gammopathy, of wavering significance (MGUS) or solitary plasmacytoma are at higher jeopardy of developing multiple myeloma than someone who does not have these diseases.
When Should You Suspect Multiple Myeloma?
In multiple myeloma two thirds of patients complain of bone pain, recurrently located in the back, long bones, skull, and pelvis.
Patients who suffer with multiple myeloma commonly have recurring lower back pain but.
1. Red Flags for Potential Diagnosis of Multiple Myeloma in Patients with Back Pain
2. Age over 50 years
3. Pain that is eviler in supine position
4. Pain that upsurges at night or causing sleep discomfort
5. Pain with a band-like circulation around the body
6. Pain that is not comforted with predictable methods (i.e., rest, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, acetaminophen [Tylenol])
7. Some more associated symptoms are fever, weight loss and dehydration.
8. Progressive, neurologic discrepancy in lower extremities
9. Besides the pain, patients may complain of unspecific constitutional symptoms related to hyperviscosity and hypercalcemia
What Are The Three Stages Of Multiple Myeloma?
The Information from various tests is used to find out the size of the tumour.
What’s the main site of cancer, where it first started and where the cancer has spread?
Usually by the time multiple myeloma is diagnosed, the cancer is widespread to distant parts of the body.
Staging multiple myeloma is constructed on the results of blood and imaging tests.
Results of other tests can also help determine the stage depending on the system used.
Doctors Use 2 Systems To Stage Multiple Myeloma:
International Staging System (ISS) The International Staging System practises the method by taking results of 2 blood tests to stage multiple myeloma – the albumin level and the beta-2-microglobulin level.
Albumin is the chief protein found in plasma. It aids to maintain blood volume. Beta-2-microglobulin is a protein found on the surface of cells that is shed into the blood. It plays an important role in the immune response.
Durie-Salmon Staging System
Smoldering: Myeloma that isn’t instigating active symptoms is called the smoldering stage or Durie-Salmon stage 1. This means that the myeloma cells that are present in your body are not rolling or causing any damage to your bones or kidneys. They may also be imperceptible in your blood.
Stage 1: Early in the disease, there are no symptoms. A very small number of myeloma cells are found.
Stage 2: By now cancer is progressing and causing multiple symptoms. A moderate number of myeloma cells are found.
Stage 3: Cancer has spread to multiple parts of the body and a person will experience complex symptoms. A large number of myeloma cells are found.
Kidney Function Test
People whose kidneys aren’t functioning well have a poor prognosis.
Doctors can measure the level of creatinine in the blood to see how well the kidneys are working. Dialysis improves kidney function in people with multiple myeloma.
Plasma cell labelling index: The plasma cell labelling index (PCLI) weighs how fast myeloma cells are growing in a sample of cells removed from the bone marrow.
What Is A Typical Treatment For Multiple Myeloma?
The chief types of drug therapies used to treat multiple myeloma are:
1. Proteasome inhibitors
2. Immunomodulatory drugs (IMiDs)
4. Histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors
5. Antibodies and chemotherapy
Each of the above works differently, but the goal is common, that is of controlling and extinguishing multiple myeloma cells.
Alternate Treatment For Multiple Myeloma
There is an outbreak of studies and thoughts on the topic of whether nutrition and alternative treatment methods, such as medicinal turmeric, can help cure patients with multiple myeloma.
It is widely believed that conventional cancer treatment will provide the greatest chance of relief.
THE BOTTOM LINE
We cannot treat our way out of the rising cancer load.
The only solution is a full-fledged defence; so that nobody suffers the disease and the world one day is free from the clutches of this loathsome beast.
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