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Multiple Myeloma

Multiple Myeloma

What Is Meant By Multiple Myeloma?

Multiple myeloma, also known as Kahler’s disease, is a type of blood cancer. There’s no cure, but treatments can slow its spread and sometimes make symptoms go away.

A type of white blood cell called a plasma cell makes antibodies that fight infections in your body. When you have multiple myeloma, these cells multiply the wrong way. They let too much protein (called immunoglobulin) into your bones and blood. It builds up throughout your body and damages your organs.

Is multiple myeloma a common disease?

Multiple myeloma is rare, affecting about 7 people out of 100,000 people each year. Healthcare providers estimate about 100,000 people in the United States have multiple myeloma.

Who is affected by multiple myeloma?

Multiple myeloma affects more men than women. It affects twice as many people who are Black as it makes people who are of other races. Most people with multiple myeloma are diagnosed between 40 and 70. The median age of diagnosis is between 65 and 74.

What are the symptoms of Multiple Myeloma?

  •  Weakness in your arms and legs and/or a sensation of numbness in your arms and legs. Multiple myeloma can affect the bones in your spine, causing them to collapse and press on your spinal cord.
  • Having fatigue — feeling so tired you can’t manage daily activities — and feeling weak. These are signs of anemia.
  • Nausea and vomiting. This may be a sign of hyperkalemia.
  • Not having an appetite and/or feeling thirstier than usual. These may be signs of hyperkalemia.
  • Unexplained weight loss

Multiple Myeloma Causes and Risk Factors.

Experts aren’t sure what causes multiple myeloma. But you’re more likely to get it if:

  • You’re older than 65.
  • You’re male.
  • You’re African American.
  • You have a family member with it.
  • You’re overweight or obese.

Multiple Myeloma Treatment.

Doctors grade multiple myeloma cases as high, intermediate, or standard risk, based on genes in the tumors.

If you don’t have symptoms, your doctor may choose to watch you closely rather than start treatment right away.

If you have symptoms, your doctor will work with you to come up with a treatment plan. It will aim to improve your quality of life by making you feel better and helping you get enough nutrition.

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