In the case of multiple myeloma, cancer cells rapidly multiply and eventually overwhelm bone marrow. The production of cancer cells outpaces the production of healthy blood cells, and the cancer cells crowd out the healthy ones.
About Multiple Myeloma
This leads to anemia , fatigue , and frequent infections. Instead of producing helpful antibodies like normal plasma cells, myeloma cancer cells produce abnormal and harmful antibodies. Over time, these proteins build up in your body and can damage your kidneys. You should always be aware of any persistent and unexplained symptom, even minor ones. In many cases, these unusual signs or symptoms can be easily explained. However, if unusual symptoms persist, make an appointment to see your doctor.
Multiple myeloma is a type of cancer that affects plasma cells. Learn about multiple myeloma symptoms, diagnosis, risk factors, and treatment. If you have multiple myeloma, the side effects of chemotherapy can cause you to lose your appetite. Learn how to maintain a healthy diet to help fight…. It's important to go to your appointments with your own set of questions for your doctor.
Here's what to ask about progressive multiple myeloma…. Andy Gordon is a multiple myeloma survivor and active cyclist.
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He wants people living with multiple myeloma to know that there is a rich, full life…. These visits allow your healthcare team to monitor your progress watch for changes and response to treatment. Follow-up is very important to see if the disease is starting to relapse. For most people, multiple myeloma treatment may stop for a while, but in most cases the disease comes back and you will need to have another treatment.
Some clinical trials in Canada are open to people with multiple myeloma. Clinical trials look at new and better ways to prevent, find and treat cancer. Find out more about clinical trials. You will have tests at some point after your treatment that will help tell the doctors how well the treatment worked. This is called response to treatment. The International Myeloma Working Group categorizes the response to treatment into the following categories. A stringent complete response sCR is defined by the following: There is a complete response. There are no myeloma cells in the bone marrow.
A complete response CR is defined by any one of the following: Immunofixation a specialized type of electrophoresis that identifies the type of M-protein or immunoglobulin light chain does not find M-protein in the blood or urine. An extramedullary plasmacytoma disappears. You have new abnormal areas in the bone or plasmacytomas. You develop hypercalcemia high levels of calcium in the blood related to multiple myeloma.
Stable disease SD means that the person does not meet the criteria for any of the categories above. To make the decisions that are right for you, ask your healthcare team questions about treatment. The measure of how well a person is able to perform ordinary tasks and carry out daily activities. A substance that stimulates the bone marrow to produce white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets. Call us toll-free at Or write us. We will reply by email or phone if you leave us your details.
If we are not able to reach you by phone, we will leave a voicemail message. Read more. Presented in partnership with Desjardins. Learn more. Select the text below and copy the link. Treatment Multiple myeloma The plasma cells Types of multiple myeloma Conditions related to multiple myeloma Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance Risks Reducing your risk Signs and symptoms Diagnosis Staging Spread of multiple myeloma Prognosis and survival Survival statistics Treatment Multiple myeloma Induction therapy Consolidation therapy Maintenance therapy Targeted therapy Chemotherapy Stem cell transplant Radiation therapy Surgery Supportive therapy Watchful waiting Follow-up Supportive care Research Statistics Glossary.
Treatments for multiple myeloma If you have multiple myeloma, your healthcare team will create a treatment plan just for you. Learn about clinical trials at MD Anderson and search our database for open studies. The Lyda Hill Cancer Prevention Center provides cancer risk assessment, screening and diagnostic services. Your gift will help support our mission to end cancer and make a difference in the lives of our patients. Our personalized portal helps you refer your patients and communicate with their MD Anderson care team. As part of our mission to eliminate cancer, MD Anderson researchers conduct hundreds of clinical trials to test new treatments for both common and rare cancers.
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Multiple myeloma is an uncommon blood cancer that affects the bone marrow, the body's blood-forming system, and can lead to kidney problems. In this disease, the plasma cells a type of white blood cell become abnormal and multiply rapidly. This causes them to interfere with the production of normal blood cells.
The plasma cells make an abnormal protein that is sent into the blood and urine.
In the blood, these proteins are called monoclonal proteins M proteins or paraproteins. In the urine, they are called Bence Jones proteins.
Multiple Myeloma Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment | Aurora Health Care
If these proteins build up in large amounts, the kidneys may have trouble processing all of the protein. This may cause the kidneys to stop working as well as they should. Multiple myeloma cells also can eat away at areas of bone, putting these bones at higher risk of fracture. In , an estimated , people in the United States were living with multiple myeloma.
The exact cause of multiple myeloma is not known and no avoidable risk factors have been found. Although its exact cause is unknown, multiple myeloma can be controlled in most patients, sometimes for many years. However, certain things appear to make you more likely to develop multiple myeloma:. This can make it difficult to diagnose in the early stages. Symptoms of multiple myeloma may include:. As a center of excellence, we use genetic testing information to personalize your multiple myeloma treatment.
This often means higher rates of success in treatment, as well as less impact on the body. If you have symptoms that may signal multiple myeloma, your doctor will examine you and ask you questions about your health and your medical history. One or more of the following tests may be used to find out if you have multiple myeloma.
These tests also may be used to find out if treatment is working. In the blood, these proteins are called paraproteins. A test called serum protein electrophoresis SPEP measures paraproteins. In the urine, these proteins are called Bence-Jones proteins. They are measured by collecting a hour urine sample and running a urine protein electrophoresis UPEP.
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A blood test called an immunofixation IFE test, may help find small traces of abnormal proteins. Immunoglobulins and light chains are checked in the blood; myeloma can make increased levels of these proteins. These tests are also followed in the blood to evaluate how the disease is responding to treatment. Plasma cells that turn into cancer cells define myeloma and plasma cells normally reside in the bone marrow.
This test not only informs whether someone has myeloma, but also provides information on how aggressive the cells are which helps with prognosis and appropriate treatment planning. These tumors may be biopsied, or surgically removed and examined under a microscope for the presence of cancer cells. If you are diagnosed with multiple myeloma, your doctor will determine the stage of the disease. Staging is a way of determining how much disease is in the body and where it has spread.
This information helps the doctor plan the best treatment. Once the staging classification is determined, it stays the same even if treatment is successful or the cancer spreads.
Our myeloma experts work closely together and with you to develop the most effective treatment plan, while focusing on your quality of life. While treatments usually do not cure multiple myeloma, we can improve the quality of life and health of many patients by decreasing the disease and its symptoms for extended periods. MD Anderson is among a select few centers that are pioneering newer options which will hopefully improve outcomes. Many patients have had remarkable success. These options include immunotherapy to help your body fight the cancer and new methods for stem cell transplantation.
In addition, we are actively pursuing ways to reduce the symptoms and side effects of multiple myeloma and its treatments. For instance, we were instrumental in finding that multiple myeloma patients taking bisphosphates are less likely to have bone-related events, such as breaks. If you are diagnosed with multiple myeloma, your doctor will discuss the best options to treat it.
This depends on several factors, including the type and stage of the cancer and your general health. Your treatment for multiple myeloma will be customized to your particular needs.