If you think you might be suffering from multiple myeloma, you should know what to expect from your treatment. Your healthcare provider will use the Revised International Staging System to determine the disease’s stage. This system uses blood tests to measure the levels of different proteins, such as beta-2 microglobulin and lactate dehydrogenase. In addition, tests for specific gene abnormalities are performed to determine a course of treatment. The disease causes the immune system to become weak and vulnerable to infections.
There are several different treatment options for multiple myeloma. Many of these options involve using chemotherapy. These drugs kill cancer cells without harming the patient’s stem cells. Some of the most common types of chemotherapy drugs are cyclophosphamide and doxorubicin. Other medications may be used in combination with chemotherapy.
Patients with multiple myeloma can also participate in clinical trials. These trials test new drugs and treatments to see if they work better than current treatments. The new drugs are not yet proven effective, and patients will not be forced to participate. However, if you feel that a trial is a good option, you may want to consider participating.
Radiation therapy can damage healthy cells while targeting cancer cells. In addition to causing damage to cancer cells, radiation can cause side effects such as fatigue, diarrhea, and skin sensitivity. While doctors can’t cure multiple myeloma, treatment options may offer hope if the disease is detected early enough.
Besides high-dose chemotherapy, patients with multiple myeloma can also undergo a bone marrow transplant. A bone marrow transplant replaces cancer cells with healthy cells. This treatment is often an initial or follow-up after other therapies fail. However, high-risk patients may not be suitable for the procedure.
Some people are more at risk for developing multiple myeloma than others. For example, people over 65 have a higher risk than those in their early 20s. People exposed to radiation or other chemicals may also be more susceptible. Agriculture workers are also at a higher risk due to the use of pesticides and herbicides. Therefore, those working in agriculture should inform their primary care physician about any exposure to these substances. Also, people who are overweight or obese are at higher risk for the development of multiple myeloma.
Genetic mutations are important risk factors for Multiple Myeloma. These mutations are a result of chromosome translocations that turn necessary genes off. A common type of chromosome translocation is chromosome 13 deletion, which occurs in about half of the cases. Another risk factor is pesticide exposure, compounds that cause cancer.
Another risk factor for multiple myeloma has a weakened immune system. People with AIDS or HIV also have a greater risk of developing the disease. People who take certain medicines to suppress their immune system also have a higher risk of developing the condition.
Although these factors increase the risk of developing multiple myeloma, they do not guarantee a person’s development. These factors do not mean they will develop the disease, and they may never develop it.
Multiple myeloma symptoms are many and varied. They can include pain in the arms and legs, weakness, nausea, and confusion. The disease can also affect the bones in the spine, causing them to collapse and place pressure on the spinal cord. Other symptoms include fatigue, anemia, and hypercalcemia. These are caused by abnormal plasma cells, which cause bruising and a lack of platelets, which help the blood clot.
The diagnostic tests for multiple myeloma include a bone marrow biopsy and a bone scan. First, the physician will look for signs of the disease by taking blood samples and examining them under a microscope. Bone marrow aspiration is another test that may be done to detect the disease. It is done by inserting a needle into the bone marrow. The doctor will then examine the sample to determine whether there is cancer.
Patients with multiple myeloma often develop an increased risk of infection because their immune system is compromised. As a result, the disease may cause frequent or recurrent infections, such as pneumonia. In addition, the weakened immune system can make it difficult for patients to recover from infections. Patients with multiple myeloma may also develop abnormal blood calcium levels or hypercalcemia, an accumulation of calcium in the blood. Hypercalcemia is a severe complication of multiple myeloma and should be treated as soon as possible.
Multiple myeloma patients may also experience bone pain. This pain may be local or widespread and often occurs in the lower back and ribs. It is often exacerbated by movement. Multiple myeloma patients are more susceptible to fractures and may experience repeated fractures of their affected bones. In advanced stages, bones in the spine may become involved, resulting in spinal cord compression. This can result in pain, weakness, and loss of height.
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