As the month of March (Multiple Myeloma Awareness Month) is coming to an end, let’s take some moment to rethink about it and spread more awareness about this disease.
What Is Multiple Myeloma?
Multiple Myeloma Cancer is a type of cancer that affects the plasma cells in bone marrow, which are responsible for producing the antibodies responsible for fighting infections. When plasma cells become cancerous, they can grow and multiply, eventually damaging the bones and other organs in the body. Here, we’ll look at the symptoms, treatment, and how to live with a diagnosis of Multiple Myeloma Cancer.
In the early stages, Multiple Myeloma Cancer may not present any symptoms, but as the cancer progresses, the following symptoms may become noticeable:
Bone Pain: This is the most common symptom of Multiple Myeloma Cancer. The pain is usually felt in the back or ribs but can also occur in the legs, pelvis, and arms.
Fatigue: This is due to the presence of abnormal proteins produced by multiple myeloma that affects the production of red blood cells.
Infections: People with Multiple Myeloma Cancer are more susceptible to infections because of weakened immune systems.
Nausea and vomiting.
Shortness of breath.
Unexplained weight loss.
How is Multiple Myeloma treated?
The treatment for Multiple Myeloma Cancer depends on the stage of the cancer when diagnosed. The following are the typical treatments for the disease:
Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is used to stop or slow the growth of cancer cells. It is usually given in cycles with defined periods of treatment and rest.
Radiation Therapy: Radiation therapy is used to shrink a tumor before surgery or to relieve pain associated with bone cancer.
Stem Cell Transplant: This a type of surgery that involves replacing the cancerous bone marrow with healthy bone marrow stem cells.
Immunotherapy: This treatment involves the use of drugs that trigger an immune response against the cancer cells.
Living with Multiple Myeloma
Multiple Myeloma Cancer can be challenging to deal with, but advances in medical technology make it possible for people to live with the disease. To live with a diagnosis of Multiple Myeloma Cancer, the following tips are useful:
Get involved with a support group.
Maintain a healthy diet.
Stay free from infections.
Follow your doctor’s advice
Multiple Myeloma Cancer is a severe disease that requires immediate medical treatment when diagnosed. The symptoms are manageable, and while there is currently no cure for Multiple Myeloma Cancer, there are treatments that can help people live with the disease. Remember to stay positive, follow your doctor’s advice and seek support from loved ones and support groups to encourage and help you in your journey with the disease.