Multiple Myeloma - Symptoms, Causes, Stages, Basics, and Treatment in Jaipur, India

Multiple Myeloma

Multiple myeloma is a type of blood cancer and it is also known as Kahler's disease. Cancerous cells in the white blood cells called plasma cells cause multiple myeloma. A healthy plasma cell makes antibodies that attack germs and help you fight infections.

Multiple myeloma occurs when cancerous plasma cells accumulate in the bone marrow and crowd out healthy blood cells. Rather than producing antibodies that can protect the body, cancer cells produce proteins that may cause complications

Our body makes antibodies with the help of white blood cells called plasma cells. In the case of multiple myeloma, these cells multiply incorrectly. Because of the wrong multiplication of cells, our bones and blood are flooded with too much protein (called immunoglobulin). As a result, our organs are damaged.

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Signs & symptoms of multiple myeloma

If you are suffering from the following signs & symptoms of multiple myeloma, you are at risk of this disease if:

  • Your back or ribs are sore or are weakened; you may have the risk of multiple myeloma.
  • Your bones fracture easily
  • You suffer from bone pain
  • You experience fatigue and weakness
  • You experience shortness of breath
  • You feel dizziness
  • You lose weight that is not usual
  • You suffer from fever and frequent infections
  • You need to urinate more frequently
  • You feel extreme thirst

Causes of Multiple Myeloma

Multiple myeloma is caused by many factors. The following are the factors that cause multiple myeloma.

Getting older

A person's risk of multiple myeloma increases with age. In most cases, multiple myeloma is diagnosed in the middle years of your life.

Males

The disease is more likely to affect men than women.

Black race people

People of other races are less likely to develop multiple myeloma than black people.

Family history of multiple myeloma or heredity

You are at a higher risk of developing the disease if your brother, sister, or parent has multiple myeloma.

Your medical history includes monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS)

The risk for multiple myeloma increases, if you have monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance condition. Multiple myeloma almost always starts as MGUS.

Complications in multiple myeloma

There are several complications associated with multiple myeloma, including:

Frequent infections

Your body's ability to fight infections is impaired by myeloma cells.

Bone problems

Bone pain, thinning bones, and broken bones can also be caused by multiple myeloma.

Reduced kidney function

There is a risk of kidney failure in patients with multiple myeloma.

Low red blood cell count (anemia)

Multiple myeloma can also cause anemia and other blood problems because myeloma cells crowd out normal blood cells.

Diagnosis for Multiple myeloma

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An array of tests will be conducted by your doctor to diagnose multiple myeloma. The following are the tests that your doctor will ask for

Blood tests-

Blood tests include- Beta2 microglobulin, Complete blood count, Immunofixation electrophoresis, Antibody/immunoglobulin levels, and types, Serum-free light chain assay, and Serum protein electrophoresis

Urine tests-

Urine tests include urinalysis, urine protein electrophoresis, and urine protein level

Bone and bone marrow tests-

Bone and bone marrow tests include Imaging studies, Karyotyping and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), and Bone marrow biopsy or aspiration.

Treatment for multiple myeloma

A variety of treatments are available to manage the symptoms of multiple myeloma and its complications. The following treatments are available for multiple myeloma:

1. Proteasome inhibitors:

The proteasome is a complex protein that helps remove old proteins in cells so new ones can be synthesized. A proteasome inhibitor prevents cancer cells from doing that. Cells infected with cancer die as old proteins pile up in their bodies.

2. Immunomodulatory drugs:

Multiple myeloma patients rely on these drugs to manage their illnesses. Your immune system is strengthened by them. Certain immune cells turn on myeloma-killing agents, while others block cancer cell growth by killing cancer cells.

3. HDAC inhibitors:

They inhibit the production of the histone deacetylase (HDAC) protein, which helps malignant cells grow and divide rapidly.

4. Steroids:

Throughout the course of the disease, these drugs are used. Cells of multiple myeloma can be killed by high doses of steroids. Additionally, they are used to ease symptoms such as pain and pressure by preventing white blood cells from racing to the area. They can also ease nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy.

5. Chemotherapy:

To treat cancer, these drugs kill cells that are in the process of dividing. Also, they cause unwanted side effects by killing healthy cells around them.

6. Monoclonal antibodies:

Your immune system will be able to fight cancer with the help of these immunotherapy drugs. Your body receives antibodies that target specific proteins on multiple myeloma cells.

7. Radiation:

Radiation technology can also be used to treat multiple myeloma. High-energy particles, or rays, are used to destroy cancer cells and prevent them from growing.

8. Stem cell transplants:

Multiple myeloma can be managed with two stem cell transplants. There are two kinds of stem cell transplant for multiple myeloma and that includes the following

Autologous stem cell transplants- The stem cells from your own body are used for autologous transplants.
Allogeneic stem cell transplants – In allogeneic stem cell transplants, donor cells are used.