Multiple Myeloma is a cancer that begins in the blood’s plasma, leading to weakened bones. Plasma cells are a particular type of white blood cells that are found in bone marrow. When this rather uncommon form of cancer originates, it starts with these plasma cells that become cancerous and begin to multiply. This type of cancer inflicts damage upon multiple parts of the boy, including the immune system, various bones, the kidneys and the red cell count of the body. Symptoms are often not even present, which can make diagnosing this type of cancer difficult, often resulting in its discovery in its later stages.
If you are diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma but are not currently experiencing the symptoms associated with this form of cancer, it may be possible that your physician may not set forth a line of treatment right away. While it may not be considered a traditional form of treatment, patient monitoring can typically be the first action taken toward Multiple Myeloma. Regular office visits will be scheduled, with periodic testing of the urine and the blood to check for signals that the cancer might be progressing. When this occurs, treatment will be discussed.
Targeted medications are typically included as a part of the first initial stages of treatment for Multiple Myeloma, and this form of medication targets the abnormal or cancerous cells in the human body. Medications that are generally used under a targeted treatment process are injected into the arm through a vein. They target the substances in the cells that allow for the breakdown of proteins, which results in the cells actually dying off. These injections are given at the office of a medical professional, and there are minimal side effects involved.
Biological medications are yet another treatment that is generally introduced early on during the beginning stages of Multiple Myeloma. These therapy medications make good use of the immune system and its ability to combat the cancerous cells residing in the body. These medications boost the cells in the immune system that attack and kill the cancerous cells. These biological medicines are taken in a pill form and, as with the targeted medications, usually only report minimal side effects.
Corticosteroids are another form of medication that can be used very successfully in the fight against Multiple Myeloma, especially in its earliest stages. Cetain medications can assist the immune system by controlling the inflammation that often occurs throughout the body. This type of drug can also ward against the cancerous myeloma cells. The corticosteroids are prescribed by a medical professional, and they are taken in a pill form. As with some of the other medications, the side effects are minimal, but they can include an increased risk of basic infections and an increase in blood sugar.
Undergoing stem cell transplants is also an effective form of treatment for Multiple Myeloma. Stem cell transplants are a procedure that replaces the diseased bone marrow. Healthy bone marrow replaces unhealthy bone marrow. Before a patient can undergo a transplant, stem cells that are blood-forming must first be collected from the patient’s blood. Next, extremely high doses of chemotherapy are given to kill off as much diseased bone marrow as possible. The stem cells are then put back into the body to travel to the bones and start the process of growing new, healthy bone marrow.
Radiation is another type of treatment that is used to fight off the effects of Multiple Myeloma. When a patient undergoes radiation therapy, X-rays, are used to stop the growth of cancerous and myeloma cells. This form of treatment can best be used on a specific area of the body. Radiation targets a cluster of cancerous cells in one location, a tumor or a mass. Radiation therapy is typically conducted at a hospital or at a medical center that specializes in such treatments.
This type of medication kills the cells that fast-growing. It also kills cells that are multiplying and becoming cancerous and myeloma cells. These drugs are administered through the vein sor in pill form. Chemotherapy is usually only administered when other medications are not as effective as initially hoped for. When stem cell transplants are being used as a form of treatment, chemotherapy is typically given before the procedure. Chemotherapy produces many side effects, with some of them severe. They include hair loss, weight loss, nausea, vomiting, and fatigue.
During treatment, while the immune system is low, and if anemia sets in, this can greatly inhibit the body’s natural ability to fight off various types of infections and illnesses. As a preventative method, many physicians suggest that patients who are suffering from Multiple Myeloma undergo vaccinations for common infections that could cause a setback in their treatment. Typical vaccines may include those for the common flu or pneumonia. Very minimal side effects typically occur from these vaccinations, and they greatly outweigh the chance of a severe illness, while undergoing treatment for this type of cancer.
As that Multiple Myeloma is a type of cancer that can eventually lead to severe bone loss, many medical professionals will prescribe medications known as Bisphosphonates. Some commonly used Bisphosphonates include Aredia or Zometa, and they work to fight off potential or upcoming bone loss. While bone loss cannot be reversed, it is important to ensure that no additional loss occurs. Additional bone loss can occur during treatment for Multiple Myeloma. Bone loss is generally accompanied by an extreme loss of weight. A doctor might prescribe a diet to help with gaining back some of it.
Multiple Myeloma can cause multiple deficiencies throughout the body that may require supplementation. Supplements keep the body as strong as possible when undergoing cancer treatment, especially in later stages. Many patients suffering from Multiple Myeloma may begin to experience anemia. Iron supplemets can help compensate for anemia. Additionally, supplements that can help with increasing red blood cells may also be of assistance, including Folic Acid, Vitamin B-1, Vitamin B-2, Vitamin B-6 and Vitamin B-12. They can also help with the functions of the immune system and the nervous system.
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