Myeloma Treatment – Myeloma, also known as multiple myeloma, is a cancer of the plasma cells. Plasma cells are a type of white blood cell that produces antibodies. Myeloma usually starts in the bone marrow, where blood cells are made.
What Causes Myeloma Cancer?
There is no one answer to this question, as myeloma can be caused by a variety of things. However, some of the most common causes of myeloma include:
- Age: Myeloma disease is more common in older adults.
- Smoking: Smokers are at an increased risk of developing myeloma.
- Radiation exposure: People who have been exposed to radiation are at an increased risk of developing myeloma.
- Having a family history of myeloma: If a person has a family history of myeloma, they are at an increased risk for developing the disease.
- Having certain blood disorders: People with certain blood disorders, such as multiple myeloma, are at an increased risk for developing myeloma disease.
- Having other cancers: People who have other types of cancer are at an increased risk of developing myeloma cancer.
Symptoms of Myeloma
The symptoms of myeloma can vary from person to person. Some people with myeloma may not have any symptoms at all, while others may experience a variety of symptoms.
Some common symptoms of myeloma include:
- Anemia: Anemia is a condition in which there are not enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen to the body's tissues. This can cause fatigue, shortness of breath, and dizziness.
- Bone pain: bone pain is a common symptom of myeloma. The pain may be caused by the cancer cells destroying bone marrow.
- Bruising: People with malignant myeloma often have easy bruising due to a decrease in the number of platelets in the blood.
- Chest pain: myeloma can cause fluid to build up around the lungs, which can lead to chest pain.
- Nausea and vomiting: myeloma can cause nausea and vomiting due to the cancer cells blocking the digestive tract.
- Weakness: malignant myeloma can cause weakness due to a decrease in the number of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.
If a person is experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important for them to see their doctor. Only a doctor can diagnose myeloma and determine the best treatment plan.
The treatment for myeloma depends on a variety of factors, such as the stage of the disease, the person's age, and overall health.
Common myeloma treatment includes:
- Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is a type of cancer treatment that uses drugs to kill cancer cells. Myeloma chemotherapy is often given in combination with other treatments, such as radiation therapy and stem cell transplant.
- Targeted therapy: Targeted therapy is a type of cancer treatment that uses drugs to attack specific cancer cells.
- Bisphosphonates: Bisphosphonates are a type of medication that can help prevent the breakdown of bone tissue. They are frequently used to treat myeloma that has spread to the bone.
- Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy uses high-energy beams, such as X-rays, to kill cancer cells. Myeloma radiation therapy is typically used in combination with other treatments, such as chemotherapy and targeted therapy.
- Stem cell transplant: A stem cell transplant is a treatment for myeloma in which healthy stem cells are transplanted into the patient's body. The stem cells can help the patient's body produce new blood cells. Myeloma stem cell transplants are often used in combination with other treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
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There is no known way to prevent myeloma completely. However, there are some things a person can do to reduce their risk of developing the disease.
Some ways to reduce the risk of myeloma include:
- Quit smoking: Smoking increases the risk of developing myeloma.
- Avoid exposure to radiation: If possible, avoid exposure to radiation
- Limit alcohol intake: Drinking alcohol increases the risk of developing myeloma.
- Eat a healthy diet: Eating a healthy diet can help reduce the risk of developing myeloma.
- Avoiding exposure to certain chemicals: Exposure to certain chemicals, such as benzene, can increase the risk of developing myeloma.