What is Multiple Myeloma?, Multiple Myeloma (MM)is a cancer of plasma cells in the bone marrow. Normally, plasma cells produce antibodies and play a key role in immune function. However,uncontrolled growth of these cellsleads to bone pain and fractures, anemia, infections, and other complications.
The cause of MM is not yet confirmed, However, Exposure to radiation, organic chemicals (such as benzene), herbicides, and insecticides may play a role. Genetic factors and viral infection may alsoinfluence the risk of developing Multiple Myeloma.
SYMPTOMS OF MULTIPLY MYLEOMA - In the early stages, Multiple Myelomamay not cause any symptoms or complications, and may only be diagnosed after a routine blood or urine test. However, it will eventually cause a wide range of symptoms and complications.
Some of the most common signs and symptoms are outlined below;
- Bone pain -. Persistent dull, aching pain, more frequently in the middle or lower back, rib cage and hipsoften made worse by movement.
- Bone fractures - The spine and ribs are the bones that most commonly fracture as a result of myeloma bone disease.
- Fractures of the spine can cause the sections of the spine to collapse or 'crush', leading to height loss, pain and occasionally compression of the spinal cord which can cause pins and needles, numbness and weakness in the legs and feet.These symptoms require urgent medical attention.
- Tiredness - Patients with Myeloma often have persistent, overwhelming tiredness.
- High blood calcium levels (Hypercalcemia) — Because
bones contain large amounts of calcium, the breakdown of bone in MM can lead to Hypercalcemia and the symptoms may include; loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, frequent urination, increased
thirst, constipation, weakness, confusion, stupor, or coma.
- Anemia (LACK OF RED BLOOD CELLS) - The signs and symptoms of
anemia include, tired and breathless, paleness, weakness, and fatigue.
- Impaired kidney function — The excess
proteins and high blood calcium levels associated with MM can damage the
kidneys. Occasionally, kidney failure is
the first sign of MM.
- Thickened blood — The excessive
production of proteins by the malignant plasma cells in MM can cause a
thickening of the blood (called hyperviscosity syndrome). The symptoms may
include bleeding from the nose and mouth, blurred vision, neurologic symptoms,
and heart failure.
- Lowered immunity - People with Myeloma are particularly vulnerable to infection. This is because the condition interferes with the immune system(the body's natural defense against infection and illness), making you more susceptible to infection.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of Multiply Myleoma. An urgent visit to your Doctor is highly recommended.