Your Multiple Myeloma Prognosis
Multiple myeloma cancer is a cancer of the plasma cells, a type of white blood cells found in the human body. In a healthy body, plasma cells produce antibodies whose job it is to fight various infections. However, once your plasma cells are infected by cancer, your body is unable to fight infections to its fullest potential. This is because your body begins to produce abnormal antibodies composed of myeloma proteins. These proteins thicken the viscosity of your blood and can cause significant kidney damage. While there is currently no cure for myeloma cancer, the prognosis isn’t too dire. Treatment for multiple cancer is very possible with a five-year survival rate of 49% in the USA.
Your multiple myeloma prognosis will depend on your age. Generally, treatment for multiple
Myeloma patients under the age of 65 are usually given treatments of high doses of chemotherapy along with stem-cell transplantations. For patients over the age of 65, chemotherapy sessions will still be needed, however, no stem-cell transplantation is done. The chemotherapy course you are given will depend on your age, but you should speak with your oncologist to determine which exactly would be best for you. The multiple myeloma prognosis has improved drastically in recent years. As research into myeloma is increased, treatments improve both the quality of life and the life span.
There is no cure for myeloma cancer, but you can reduce the symptoms and slow down the growth of the cancer. With the correct treatment, you will be able to live a relatively normal life. At present, the common treatment options for multiple myeloma include chemotherapy, bisphosphonates, radiation, surgery, stem cell transplants, and plasmapheresis.
Chemotherapy is the use of powerful drugs to destroy cancer cells. They are usually given intravenously and go directly into the blood stream. As a result of this treatment, you may experience hair loss, loss of appetite, nausea, and low blood counts.
Bisphosphonates are drugs which help strengthen the bones. They are given to multiple myeloma patients to help prevent bone damage. A rare side effect is osteonecrosis of the jaw. The death of part of the jaw bone.
Radiation therapy involves the usage of high energy x-rays on the affected area of the body. The radiation penetrates deep into the body and destroys cancer cells. Side effects include skin damage in the affected area, fatigue, nausea, and a low blood count.
Surgery can be used to remove single plasmacytomas. It is uncommon for it to be used in multiple myeloma, however, if your bones have weakened, metal rods may be inserted to support the bones.
If you are falling sick often, your oncologist might recommend intravenous immunoglobulin. These are foreign antibodies which are injected into a vein to help your body fight off infection.
If you are suffering from anaemia, there are drugs which can help you with your low red blood cell count. If so, you should consult with your doctor to see if Erythropoietin and Darbepoietin would be recommended for you.
As was previously mentioned, some patient’s blood thickens are a result of myeloma protein. Plasmapheresis is a process by which those proteins can be removed from the blood.
In conclusion, there are many treatment options available but, you should discuss with your oncologist to see exactly your multiple myeloma prognosis is. There are many treatment options with new ones always being developed. You can sign up for new drug trials to try and improve your prognosis as much as possible.