Multiple myeloma is a type of blood cancer that affects the plasma cells. In multiple myeloma, malignant plasma cells accumulate in the bone marrow, crowding out the normal plasma cells that help fight infections. These malignant plasma cells then produce abnormal proteins (m protein) which may cause tumors, damage the kidneys, and impair immune system function. In some cases, the malignant cells may cause a single tumor, called a solitary plasmacytoma, but if multiple tumors are formed, then the disease is called multiple myeloma.
HOW IS MULTIPLE MYELOMA DIAGNOSED?
An Oncologist/Hematologist diagnoses Multiple Myeloma by a routine physical examination, blood tests and urine tests. In a severe case of Multiple Myeloma, the doctor might conduct a biopsy to check for cancerous cells in the body.
HOW IS MULTIPLE MYELOMA TREATED?
Treatment involves use of medications that can relieve pain, control complications of the disease, stabilize your condition and slow the progress of the disease.
DID YOU KNOW?
Risk factors for multiple myeloma have not been established although researchers have suggested genetic abnormalities, such as c-Myc genes or environmental exposures, may play a role. Median survival is about three years, but some patients have a life expectancy of 10 years.