Myeloma, also known as multiple myeloma, is a type of blood cancer that affects plasma cells, a type of white blood cell found in bone marrow. Myeloma occurs when plasma cells become abnormal and start to reproduce in an uncontrolled manner. This can lead to an accumulation of these abnormal cells in the bone marrow, which can interfere with the normal production of other blood cells, such as red and white blood cells, and platelets.
Symptoms of myeloma can include:
Fatigue and weakness
Bone pain and fractures
Anemia (low red blood cell count)
Nausea and vomiting
Constipation and diarrhea
Increased thirst and frequent urination
Confusion and memory loss
Diagnosis of myeloma is made through a combination of physical examination, medical history, blood tests, bone marrow biopsy, and imaging studies such as X-rays, CT scans, and MRI.
Treatment for Myeloma
The treatment for myeloma varies depending on the stage and severity of the disease, as well as the patient’s overall health. Some common treatments for myeloma include:
Chemotherapy: This involves using drugs to kill the cancer cells.
Radiation therapy: This uses high-energy X-rays to destroy cancer cells.
Stem cell transplant: This involves collecting and storing a patient’s healthy blood-forming cells, and then using high doses of chemotherapy to kill the cancer cells. The stored blood-forming cells are then infused back into the patient to help restore normal blood cell production.
Immunotherapy: This involves using medications that help the body’s immune system fight the cancer cells.
Targeted therapy: This involves using drugs that target specific proteins in the cancer cells to slow their growth and prevent them from spreading.
Surgery: This may be used to remove a single bone lesion that is causing pain or to stabilize a bone that has been weakened by myeloma.
Clinical trials: Some patients may be eligible for clinical trials that are testing new treatments for myeloma.
The choice of treatment for myeloma depends on many factors, including the stage and type of myeloma, the patient’s overall health, and the patient’s personal preferences. It is important for patients to work closely with their healthcare provider to choose the best treatment plan for their individual needs.
Myeloma is a type of blood cancer that affects plasma cells in the bone marrow. Symptoms of myeloma can include fatigue, bone pain, anemia, recurrent infections, kidney problems, and more. Treatment for myeloma may include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, stem cell transplant, immunotherapy, targeted therapy, surgery, or clinical trials. Patients should work closely with their healthcare provider to choose the best treatment plan for their individual needs.