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A bone marrow-based plasma cell neoplasm characterized by a serum monoclonal protein and skeletal destruction with osteolytic lesions, pathological fractures, bone pain, hypercalcemia, and anemia. Clinical variants include non-secretory myeloma, smoldering myeloma, indolent myeloma, and plasma cell leukemia. (WHO, 2001)

Symptoms of Myeloma

The following features are indicative of Myeloma:
  • bone pain
  • broken bone
  • weakness
  • fatigue
  • weight loss
  • frequent infections
  • frequent urination
  • excessive thirst
  • anemia
  • kidney failure
  • nausea
  • constipation
  • loss of appetite
  • numbness in legs
  • confusion
  • shortness of breath
  • abnormal bleeding
It is possible that Myeloma shows no physical symptoms and still be present in a patient.
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Common Causes of Myeloma

The following are the most common causes of Myeloma:
  • abnormal plasma cell in bone marrow
  • abnormal antibodies
  • past treatment with radiation therapy

Risk Factors for Myeloma

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Myeloma:
  • increasing age
  • being male
  • black race
  • history of a monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS)
  • obesity
  • alcohol

Prevention of Myeloma

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Myeloma. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • by maintaining a normal body weight

Occurrence of Myeloma

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Myeloma cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Not common between 50K - 500K cases

Common Age Group

Myeloma can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Myeloma can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Myeloma

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Myeloma:
  • Blood tests: To detect abnormal protein produced by myeloma cells and to examine kidney function, blood cell counts, calcium levels and uric acid levels
  • Urine tests: To detect bence jones proteins in urine
  • Bone marrow examination: To examine myeloma cells
  • Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) test: To understand chromosomal abnormalities of myeloma cells
  • Imaging tests: To detect bone problems associated with multiple myeloma

Doctor for Diagnosis of Myeloma

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Myeloma:
  • Hematologist
  • Oncologist

Complications of Myeloma if untreated

Yes, Myeloma causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Myeloma is left untreated:
  • frequent infections
  • bone problems
  • reduced kidney function
  • low red blood cell count (anemia)

Procedures for Treatment of Myeloma

The following procedures are used to treat Myeloma:
  • Targeted therapy: To treat specific abnormalities within cancer cells
  • Biological therapy: To fight against myeloma cells
  • Chemotherapy: To kill fast-growing cells, including myeloma cells
  • Stem cell transplantation: To replace diseased bone marrow with healthy bone marrow
  • Radiation therapy: To damage myeloma cells and stop their growth

Self-care for Myeloma

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Myeloma:
  • Keep yourself relaxed: Helps combating the stress and fatigue of cancer
  • Eat healthy diet: Eating well helps combating the stress and fatigue of cancer
  • Take rest: Helps combating the stress and fatigue of cancer

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Myeloma

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Myeloma:
  • Acupuncture: Helps to cope up with the side effects of myeloma and myeloma treatment
  • Aromatherapy: Helps reducing stress
  • Massage therapy: Helps reducing stress and anxiety
  • Meditation: Helps relaxing mind

Patient Support for Treatment of Myeloma

The following actions may help Myeloma patients:
  • Friends and family support: Sharing helps to cope up with issues and anxieties that might occur after treatment
  • Formal support group: Talking to other patients with similar problems helps reducing stress

Time for Treatment of Myeloma

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Myeloma to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • Disease cannot be treated but only maintained or effects reduced

Related Topics

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Myeloma.

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