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Multiple Myeloma Overview
Multiple Myeloma is a cancer of plasma cells.
What are plasma cells? The blood contains several different types of cells. All of these blood cells are developed in the bone marrow; it is a spongy substance within our bones. The three basic types of blood cells are:
Red blood cells: They help in carrying oxygen.
Platelets: These cells prevent bleeding
White blood cells: These cells are the part of bodies’ immune system and help to fight against infections. Lymphocyte, which is one of the major sub types of white blood cells, is of two main types T cells and B cells. Plasma cells develop from B-lymphocytes. Normal plasma cells produce antibodies that help the body to fight infections.
What is cancer? Top
Normal cells grow and divide to form new cells, as the body needs them. When normal cells grow old or get damaged, they die, and new cells take their place. Cancer occurs when normal cells undergo a transformation in which they grow and multiply without normal controls forming malignant (cancerous), tumor (growth) that consists of plasma cells in Myeloma.
It is more common in men, and is twice as common in blacks as it is in whites. With conventional treatment, the prognosis is 3–4 years
What are the causes of Multiple Myeloma? Top
The causes of MultipleMyeloma are still not known. A series of factors have been linked to Myeloma like genetic, Environmental, Exposures to certain chemicals or large dose of radiation, Viral infection, and immune system defects.
But how these factors work is still not clear, as many individuals suffering from Multiple Myeloma have no history of these risk factors.
What are the sign and symptoms of Multiple Myeloma? Top
As the name suggests Multiple Myeloma can affect several organs thus sign and symptoms vary greatly. The most common symptoms of Myeloma are:
Bone Pains: They are usually present in the spine and the ribs and are increased with activity; Bone lesions and Osteoporosis cause it. In advanced Myeloma these lesions (osteolytic bone lesions) can suppress nerves resulting in tingling and numbness sensation, loss of limb function and joint mobility.
Infection: The most common symptoms are the Pneumonia and pyelonephritis. The greatest risk of infection is in the initial few months after the start of chemotherapy.
Anaemia: It is due to suppression of red blood cells resulting from tumors in bone
Renal Failure and Hypercalcaemia(increased calcium level in blood): Renal failure can occur as acute or chronic disease. It is caused due to tubular damage by light chain proteins called as Bence Jones proteins. The common symptoms include vomiting, nausea, dehydration, decreased urinary output, difficulty in concentration, loss of appetite, and muscle weakness.
Neurological Disorders: Neuropathies (nerve pains), Carpal tunnel syndrome, Fatigue, Headaches, Loss of bowel of urine control resulting from involvement of spine.
How is Multiple Myeloma diagnosed? Top
Multiple Myeloma is usually discovered in routine examination when the there is Anaemia or increase protein count in blood or urine. It may also be suspected in cases were early onset of osteoporosis is seen. A few more tests, which are helpful in diagnosis, are:
  • Blood: Complete blood count, Test for M proteins, Urine analysis (24 hour urine test), Renal function Tests, Calcium levels.
  • X-ray of the chest, in certain cases whole body X-rays are done find out the extent of damage.
  • Bone marrow aspiration or biopsy can also be done.
What is the role of homoeopathy in Multiple Myeloma? Top
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