4 Hallmark Traits of Multiple Myeloma

May 7th 2016

Patients often respond to symptoms and treatment differently when diagnosed with multiple myeloma. It is important to report symptoms to a physician and consult with an oncologist to determine if treatment should be altered to ease the traits experienced with the disease.

Weakened Immune System

Symptoms of multiple myeloma affect patients differently. Most patients experience an increased vulnerability to infections because their immune system has been compromised by cancerous tumors. A common cold may ultimately turn into pneumonia if not treated right away in patients with this disease. Patients should report infections and concerns to a physician to avoid complications with treatment for multiple myeloma.

Impaired Kidney Function

Plasma cells that crowd bone marrow can damage the kidneys. As a result, patients may experience increased or decreased urination and impaired kidney function. Physicians may recommend dialysis if the kidney is severely damaged or not functioning.

Immobility

Multiple myeloma can make patients susceptible to bone fractures or bone pain. Some patients also experience restlessness followed by fatigue or extreme weakness, which can impair mobility and the ability to function daily. Some people with multiple myeloma may also experience confusion, loss of appetite and weight loss that contributes to fatigue and weakness.

Nausea

Infections caused by multiple myeloma can lead to stomach pain, nausea and vomiting in some patients. Not all individuals diagnosed with the disease experience extreme nausea and vomiting, but many report an increased thirst on a daily basis.

Conclusion

Multiple myeloma cancer occurs when the bone marrow is crowded by malignant plasma cells that produce abnormal proteins that infect the function of the immune system, damage the kidneys and cause cancerous tumors. This disease is treatable, but a cure has yet to be determined. Multiple myeloma is a common blood cancer, and with advancements in technology treatments, patients are seeing a stronger survival rate. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of the disease can help physicians treat tumors early and possibly reduce risks.

Sources

TheMMRF.org "Learn the basics about mutliple myeloma" http://www.themmrf.org/multiple-myeloma/

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