Multiple Myeloma Treated at Karmanos

Treatment of Multiple Myeloma

What is multiple myeloma?

In multiple myeloma, abnormal plasma cells (myeloma cells) build up in the bone marrow and form tumors in many bones of the body. These tumors may keep the bone marrow from making enough healthy blood cells. Normally, the bone marrow makes stem cells (immature cells) that become three types of mature blood cells:

  • Red blood cells that carry oxygen and other substances to all tissues of the body.
  • White blood cells that fight infection and disease.
  • Platelets that form blood clots to help prevent bleeding.

As the number of myeloma cells increases, fewer red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets are made. The myeloma cells also damage and weaken the bone.

What are the symptoms of multiple myeloma?

Sometimes multiple myeloma does not cause any signs or symptoms. This is called smoldering multiple myeloma. It may be found when a blood or urine test is done for another condition. Signs and symptoms may be caused by multiple myeloma or other conditions. Check with your doctor if you have any of the following:

  • Bone pain, especially in the back or ribs.
  • Bones that break easily.
  • Fever for no known reason or frequent infections.
  • Easy bruising or bleeding.
  • Trouble breathing.
  • Weakness of the arms or legs.

Who is at risk for multiple myeloma?

Multiple myeloma is most common in older people. Other risk factors include:

  • Being Black.
  • Being male.
  • Having a personal history of MGUS or plasmacytoma.
  • Being exposed to radiation or certain chemicals.

How do you treat multiple myeloma?

There are different types of treatment for multiple myeloma including chemotherapy, immunotherapy, stem cell transplant, radiation therapy and surgery. There are also new treatments being studied in clinical trials.

Information from the National Cancer Institute

Information includes about multiple myeloma, causes, risk factors, diagnosis and treatment.

Learn More: NCI

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