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YOUR GUIDE TO MULTIPLE MYELOMA

Myeloma is a type of blood cancer is caused when plasma cells type of WBC that fight infections start to grow out of control. The cells are found in the marrow or the spongy tissue of some of the bigger bones in our body like the vertebra.

What causes multiple myeloma?

It is observed that like many other types of cancer, multiple myeloma has no relevant cause. Even then there are certain things that heighten the chances for multiple myeloma. Age is one major reason; those over the age of 65 year can be affected. Men are more prone to get MM rather than women. Hereditary is yet another cause for multiple myeloma.

What are the symptoms of multiple myeloma?

Since multiple myeloma prevents the formation of healthy blood cells the following symptoms may be seen:

  • Anemia (low red blood cells), causing continuous fatigue
  • Thrombocytopenia (low platelets count) causing bruising and bleeding
  • Leukopenia (low white blood cells), which raises risk of infection
  • Bone Fractures – Myeloma cells make bones weak and prevent growth of new bones
  • Infections – Plasma cells make antibodies to fight germs but abnormal plasma cells crowd out healthy plasma cells and WBC that protect from infection
  • Confusion and dizziness
  • Kidney problems
  • Numbness or muscle weakness especially in legs

What are the treatments?

Treatments for multiple myeloma include traditional cancer drugs, chemotherapy and corticosteroids. Other treatment options are Stem Cell Transplant using the patients own stem cells.

Can multiple myeloma be prevented?

Multiple myeloma is not caused by lifestyle choices or it cannot be detected by early screening. You are diagnosed with MM only after y has had it for a while, this makes it difficult to prevent it though later management of multiple myeloma is possible.

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