Multiple myeloma may be a cancer that forms during a sort of white blood corpuscle called a plasmacyte . Plasma cells assist you fight infections by making antibodies that recognize and attack germs.
Multiple myeloma causes cancer cells to accumulate within the bone marrow, where they displace healthy blood cells. Rather than produce helpful antibodies, the cancer cells produce abnormal proteins which will cause complications.
Treatment for myeloma isn't necessary for people that aren't experiencing any signs or symptoms. For people with myeloma who require treatment, variety of treatments are available to assist control the disease.
Signs and symptoms of myeloma can vary and, early within the disease, there could also be none.
When signs and symptoms do occur, they can include:
Ø Bone pain, especially in your spine or chest
Ø Loss of appetite
Ø Mental fogginess or confusion
Ø Frequent infections
Ø Weight loss
Ø Weakness or numbness in your legs
Ø Excessive thirst
When to see a doctor
Make a meeting together with your doctor if you've got any persistent signs and symptoms that worry you.
It's not clear what causes myeloma. Doctors know that myeloma begins with one abnormal plasmacyte in your bone marrow — the soft, blood-producing tissue that fills within the center of most of your bones. The abnormal cell multiplies rapidly.
Because cancer cells don't mature then die as normal cells do, they accumulate, eventually overwhelming the assembly of healthy cells. In the bone marrow, myeloma cells crowd out healthy white blood cells and red blood cells, leading to fatigue and an inability to fight infections.
The myeloma cells continue trying to supply antibodies, as healthy plasma cells do, but the myeloma cells produce abnormal antibodies that the body can't use. Instead, the abnormal antibodies (monoclonal proteins, or M proteins) build up in the body and cause problems such as damage to the kidneys. Cancer cells also can cause damage to the bones that increases the danger of broken bones.
Factors that may increase your risk of multiple myeloma include:
Ø Increasing age. Your risk of myeloma increases as you age, with most of the people diagnosed in their mid-60s.
Ø Male sex. Men are more likely to develop the disease than are women.
Ø Black race. Black people are about twice as likely to develop myeloma as are White race .
Ø Family history of multiple myeloma. If a brother, sister or parent has myeloma , you've got an increased risk of the disease.
Ø Personal history of a monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS). Every year 1 percent of the people with MGUS within the us develop myeloma.
Complications of multiple myeloma include:
Ø Frequent infections. Myeloma cells inhibit your body's ability to fight infections.
Ø Bone problems. Multiple myeloma also can affect your bones, resulting in bone pain, thinning bones and broken bones.
Ø Reduced kidney function. Multiple myeloma may cause problems with kidney function, including renal failure . Higher calcium levels within the blood associated with eroding bones can interfere together with your kidneys' ability to filter your blood's waste. The proteins produced by the myeloma cells can cause similar problems.
Ø Low red blood cell count (anemia). As myeloma cells displace normal blood cells, myeloma also can cause anemia and other blood problems.
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