Myeloma cancer is a type of cancer that occurs in the plasma cells, which are a type of blood cell that helps to produce antibodies. Myeloma results in the build-up of abnormal plasma cells, which then collect in the bones and in the bone marrow. This build-up of abnormal cells results in both bone lesions and low production of normal blood cells. Myeloma cancer is also associated with kidney damage and immunodeficiency disorders. As cancers go, myeloma is relatively rare, although it is the most common of blood cancers, and occurs in between 1-4 in every 100,000 per annum. It is more likely to occur in males.
Because Myeloma cancer is blood-borne, it can affect a range of different organs in the body. As a result, the symptoms of Myeloma cancer can vary widely between different Myeloma cancer suffers. The most frequently reported symptom of Myeloma cancer is bone pain, including in the spine and ribs. Myeloma cancer patients often report that the pain increases with activity. Infection is another common symptom of Myeloma cancer, with pneumonia quite common among Myeloma cancer sufferers. This increased risk of infection is due to the cancer causing a suppression of the immune system. Another common symptom of Myeloma cancer is renal failure; similarly, anaemia and neurological problems also occur as a result of Myeloma cancer.
The diagnosis of Myeloma cancer usually occurs after blood tests have shown abnormal results for kidney function, white blood cell levels, and red blood cell levels. Further tests may involved X-rays, and MRI, and bone marrow biopsies to determine whether Myeloma cancer is present.
Myeloma cancer treatment processes tend to highlight suppression and containment rather than cure. Myeloma cancer therapy often relates to the patient’s age, as well as any other existing medical conditions evident. Chemotherapy in combination with stem cell transplantation is common among younger patients, while older patients tend simply to undergo a chemotherapy course. Sometimes Myeloma cancer is entirely asymptomatic; in these instances treatment may not be forthcoming, although the Myeloma cancer will continue to be monitored. Relapse is common with Myeloma cancer, and many patients may also find that they grow resistant to treatment.
Given that the preferred method of treating Myeloma cancer relies on suppression and containment, boosting the immune system using alternative therapies and approaches may help prolong the life of a Myeloma cancer sufferer, and may help to improve the quality of the cancer patient’s life. More information about these treatments can be found on this website.