What is Multiple Myeloma?
Multiple Myeloma is a disorder in which the White Blood Cells or the plasma cells multiply abnormally. The plasma cells help to fight infection by producing antibodies, also known as immunoglobulin. In multiple myeloma, the plasma cells produce too much of immunoglobulin into your bones and blood that builds up throughout the body and may cause organ damage. In some cases, the normal blood cells are crowded by the plasma cell in the bones which releases chemicals that trigger other cells to dissolve bone. This creates a weak area of bones, called lytic lesions.
Causes of Multiple Myeloma
- Plasma cells diseases like Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) & Solitary plasmacytoma
- Having family history of multiple myeloma.
- The risk of multiple myeloma increases with age.
Signs & symptoms of Multiple Myeloma
- Bone pain, especially in the spine or chest
- Loss of appetite & Weight loss
- Frequent infections
- Numbness in the legs
- Excessive thirst
Treatment of Multiple Myeloma
Multiple Myeloma is treated through;
Chemotherapy is the use of anti-cancer drug that helps to slow or stop the growth of rapidly dividing cells that cause cancer. It prevents the growth of rapidly dividing cells by killing the dividing cells.
Despite its side effects, chemo is still the most widely used cancer treatment option. Unlike radiation and surgery which treats cancer cells at particular locations, chemotherapy drugs can kill cancer cells that have metastated (spread) to different organs in the body.
Targeted drug therapies
Targeted drug therapy is a type of cancer treatment that uses cancer drugs. However, it is different from traditional chemotherapy, which also uses drugs to kill cancer cells. In Targeted therapy, the cancer’s specific genes, proteins or the tissue environment that contributes to cancer growth and survival are targeted. Targeted therapy is generally used with chemotherapy and other interventions.
Immunotherapy (also called biologic therapy) is a new type of cancer treatment where the body’s immune system is boosted to help the body fight cancer by itself. Immunotherapy uses substances made by the body or in a laboratory to improve or restore immune system function.
Radiation Therapy is a kind of cancer treatment that uses high doses of radiation beams to kill cancer cells to shrink the tumors. Radiation kills the cancer cells by destroying the DNA. Cancer cells with damaged DNA fail to multiply and die. They are then removed by the body’s mechanism.
Bone marrow transplant
Bone marrow transplant is also known as stem cell transplant. It is a procedure in which the damaged or diseased bone marrow is replaced with healthy bone marrow.
Bone Marrow Transplant is the most effective and curative treatment of Multiple Myeloma.