Multiple myeloma is a type of cancer that develops in a specific type of white blood cell known as a plasma cell. Healthy plasma cells are responsible for fighting against infections by producing antibodies that recognize and attack bacteria.
In multiple myeloma, the malignant plasma cells amass in the marrow and drive out healthy cells and these cancerous plasma cells, Instead of producing beneficial antibodies, create defective proteins that can lead to complications in the body.
What causes multiple myeloma?
Doctors believe that myeloma originates with one aberrant plasma cell in the bone marrow, which is a soft tissue that is found in the middle of the majority of one’s bones.
The cancerous cells do not mature and die like normal cells, they collect and eventually outnumber the creation of healthy cells. Myeloma pushes out healthy blood cells in the bone marrow, which results in exhaustion and renders them useless in fighting infections.
Just as healthy plasma cells, the cancerous myeloma cells continue to try to create antibodies, the antibody produced are aberrant in nature and can’t be used by the body. Furthermore, these aberrant antibodies bioaccumulate and lead to complications such as kidney damage.
What are the symptoms of multiple myeloma?
Multiple myeloma symptoms and signs can vary, and early in the course, there may well be none. Once symptoms do appear, they would include the following:
– Bone discomfort, particularly in the spine or chest
– Appetite loss
– Confusion or mental fogginess
– Infections that occur frequently
– An unexpected loss of weight
– Weakness in legs
– Extreme thirst
The following factors potentially increase the risk of developing multiple myeloma:
– Growing older: Multiple myeloma is more common as one becomes older, with most persons detected in their mid-60s.
– Male gender: Men are more prone than women to develop the condition.
– Belonging to the black race: People with darker complexions are more prone than other races to acquire multiple myeloma.
– Family history with multiple myeloma: One is more likely to develop multiple myeloma if a brother, sister, or parent has the disease.
– Personal history of MGUS: Multiple myeloma typically begins as MGUS, having this condition doubles one’s risk.
Methods of treatment of multiple myeloma
If one has multiple myeloma which isn’t causing any symptoms (also referred to as smoldering multiple myeloma), One may not require immediate treatment. For slow-growing and early-stage multiple myeloma, immediate therapy may not be required. The doctor will, however, examine the status of the disease on a frequent basis for symptoms to measure the advancement of the disease. could include blood and urine tests on a regular basis.
However, If one starts to exhibit the symptoms, medication can help reduce discomfort, control disease complications, stabilize the condition, and limit the progression of multiple myeloma.
The general mode of treatments include:
– Targeted drug therapy: Targeted medication treatments target specific flaws seen in cancer cells. Cancer cells can be killed by specific medication treatments that prevent these abnormalities.
– Immunotherapy: Immunotherapy is a type of cancer treatment that employs the immune system to combat the disease. Because cancer cells create proteins that assist them to hide from immune system cells, the body’s disease-fighting immune cells may not attack cancer. Immunotherapy works by tweaking the immune system’s defense mechanisms.
– Chemotherapy: This treatment method employs the use of medications to destroy cancer cells. The medications are designed to kill rapidly developing cells, such as myeloma cells.
– Bone marrow transplant: Also referred to as stem cell transplant is a treatment that replaces damaged marrow with functional bone marrow.
during a bone marrow transplant, first, the healthy stem cells are extracted from the blood prior to a bone marrow transplant. Following that, one will be given high-dose chemotherapy to eradicate the damaged bone marrow. The stem cells are then injected into one’s body, where they make their way to the bones and begin the process of rebuilding bone marrow.
– Radiotherapy: Radiation therapy kills cancer cells by delivering high-energy radiation from emitters like X-rays and protons. It could be used to rapidly contain the myeloma cells in a particular spot, such as when a cluster of aberrant plasma cells forms a tumor (plasmacytoma) that causes pain or destroys a bone.