What is Multiple Myeloma?

Running Header: 73587018 Multiple myeloma

MULTIPLE MYELOMA

What is Multiple Myeloma?

Multiple Myeloma is the cancer of plasma cell in the bone marrow.The plasma cells are important components in the body since they provide an immune system which fights diseases. These cells are found in the bone marrow and they fight body infections by producing proteins known as antibodies. In the case of multiple myeloma the plasma cells in the bone marrow grow out of control and become abnormal thus forming tumors around the solid bones.

The development of the tumor makes it difficult for the bone marrow to make healthy blood cells and platelets, thus weakening the body. Multiple myeloma mainly affects the older adults and causes anemia which leads to abnormal bleeding. If the bones in the spine are affected by the disease, it can put pressure on the nerves resulting to weakness of legs and arms.

Symptoms of Multiple myeloma

One the symptom of multiple myeloma is anemia which develops at an early stage thus making a person to get infections and have abnormal bleedings in the body. Another symptom of multiple myeloma is back pains which develop as the cancer cells grow in the bone marrow. Other symptoms include; fevers, broken bones, fatigue, shortness of breath and bleeding problems that come about as a result of anemia.

Therapy and treatment

These symptoms of multiple myeloma can be noted and prevented by conducting blood tests in order to check for calcium levels, protein levels and the kidney function. Antibodies and proteins in the body are identified by conducting blood and urine tests.

However, some people have a slow developing form of multiple myeloma that takes long to cause symptoms. Such people require some close observation in order to prevent the spread of the disease. The treatment of multiple myeloma is grouped into the following categories; – Induction chemotherapy, consolidated therapy, maintenance therapy and salvage therapy.

Multiple myeloma can be treated by:

Bexametasone,melphlan,cyclophosphamid,doxil,thalidomide,lenalidomide(Revlimid),and bortezomib (Velcade)can be used alone/combined together.
Bisphosphonates (Pamidronate) to reduce bone pain and prevent fractures.
Radiation therapy is done to the patients in order to make them comfortable and relieve them of the back pains and also to treat a bone tumor. In addition to the different types of therapies done to the patients, some nursing care is needed to the patients so as to provide them with a prolonged life by encouraging them to exercises and eat a balanced diet.

Multiple myeloma patients should drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration and maintain proper kidney function. However the stress of illness may be eased by joining a support group whose members share common experiences and problems.

Patient prognosis

The possibility of survival and cure for people with multiple myeloma largely depends on the stage of the disease and also the age of the patient. Since the disease is mostly common among the old people, it is sometimes difficult for the patients to survive the therapies due to the weakness of their bodies. Some cases of multiple myeloma are so aggressive while take sometimes before they get worse. However, some patients survive the cancer when the disease is addressed at the early stages and it is advised that patients should identify the early symptoms and seek medical to avoid complications in the future. The patients with lower stages have a better prognosis than the ones with higher stages. Nevertheless, sometimes it depends with a patient’s response to chemotherapy for them to survive the disease.

Pathological etiology

There are various stages that a cancer disease develops before it reaches its optimum stage where it gets serious. Multiple myeloma is staged using two systems and they include the Durie-Salmon staging system or the International staging system. The Durie-Salmon staging system involves measuring of blood levels of calcium and hemoglobin, blood and urine levels whereby they check for the proteins. Evaluation of the bone damage is done through x-rays and the regular check ups. In the International staging system multiple myeloma is based on the levels certain proteins in the blood such as albumin.

Technical information and positions performed in x-ray to demonstrate the multiple myeloma

On x-ray multiple myeloma appears as a decreased bone density whereby it shows a lot of holes in the bone. A bone scan shows the bones that are involved with multiple myeloma by showing the destructive lesions that are not surrounded with the white rim like in other bones. The cancer cells of multiple myeloma have a unique appearance when seen under a microscope and they look like a clock face. In x-ray these cells look like punched out holes on the bone thus making the bone appear hollow. The multiple myeloma cells are not usually confined to a specific location or bone when seen through the x-rays, since they tend to involve the entire skeleton.

Reference

healthcommunities. (2010, September 14). multiple myeloma staging. Retrieved 7 7, 2011, from www.healthcommunities.com

Mayo clinic. (2010, July 8). multiple myeloma. Retrieved 7 7, 2011, from www.mayoclinic.com

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