About Multiple Myeloma

Multiple Myeloma (MY-eh-LOH-muh) also called Plasma Cell Myeloma, Bone Marrow Cancer or Smoldering Myeloma.

Multiple myeloma cancer begins in plasma cells, a type of white blood cell. These cells are part of your immune system, which helps protect the body from germs and other harmful substances. In time, plasma myeloma cells collect in the bone marrow and in the solid parts of bone to become plasmacytoma. Plasmacytoma is plasma cell myeloma as a single lesion or tumor. When the plasma cell myeloma develops into multiple lesions it becomes multiple myeloma. Often multiple myeloma symptoms go unnoticed, delaying a myeloma prognosis.

Multiple myeloma is what is called an orphan cancer, meaning very few people have it. About 20,000 people receive a multiple myeloma prognosis every year. About 20,000 people die from myeloma bone cancer every year. Approximately 120,000 people in the U.S. have Multiple Myeloma cancer. No one knows the exact causes of myeloma bone cancer or why plasma cell myeloma forms, but multiple myeloma prognosis is more common in older people and African-Americans.

Living with a Multiple Myeloma Prognosis

This deadly form of cancer has no known 100% cure. However, with proper cancer treatments many multiple myeloma patients can lead fairly normal lives by using various medications that are proving to be very successful in the containment of the plasma cancer cells and control of multiple myeloma symptoms.

Early Multiple Myeloma Symptoms May Include

  • Bone pain, often in the back or ribs
  • Broken bones
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Repeated infections
  • Loss of energy

For Multiple Myeloma patients, because of their severely compromised immune system, viral infections can quickly become bacteria infections. For families, friends and caregivers who have a Myeloma bone marrow cancer patient that they care for, must be aware of multiple myeloma symptoms. Strict attention to any “irregular physical feeling,” after a multiple myeloma prognosis, is required by contacting the patient’s Dr. Sometimes after many laboratory tests are completed to find the cause of the “irregular physical feeling” the patient is cleared, and there is no explanation for what the “irregular physical feeling” was caused by. But the patient appears to be OK. The same “irregular physical feeling” may happen more than once, it must be acted upon immediately each time.

Treatment May Help Control Multiple Myeloma Symptoms and Complications.

Multiple Myeloma symptoms need to monitored closely. There are many treatment options available to fight plasma cell myeloma and control myeloma symptoms such as; chemotherapystem cell transplantation, radiation and medications.Multiple Myeloma researchers don’t know why plasma cell myeloma occurs. However, they are constantly trying to find out how to cure it. Numerous new medications are being put into trial status continually.

Multiple Myeloma researchers do know that the amassing of the plasma cell myeloma in the bone marrow, at some point in all Myeloma patients, just “tweak” and cause a disturbance in the production of white blood cells and consequently destruction of the bone marrow begins. Reducing white blood cells causes increased vulnerability to serious diseases. Even the slightest bacteria infection from insect bites, nicks, cuts and scratches can become a major problem. Immediate attention must be paid to these types of injuries. Previous destruction of the bone marrow from plasma cell myeloma can cause severe problems if the patient should happen to break a bone where a plasma cell myeloma lesion is located.

Follow this link to the IMF website for their pamplet “A Concise Review of the Disease and Treatment Options” for more on Myeloma bone cancer.