What is Multiple Myeloma?
Multiple myeloma refers to a malignant tumor in hematological system, originating from plasma cells (a type of white blood cell generated in the bone marrow). Normal plasma cell is responsible for producing antibodies which can fight against infection, while malignant plasma cell---- myeloma cell proliferates in great numbers in the bone marrow, resulting in disorder of patients’ life, caused symptoms such as anemia, bone pain, fracture, decreased immunity, hypercalcemia, proteinuria, renal inadequacy, etc.
Every year, there are about two out of ten thousand people diagnosed with multiple myeloma which is believed to be the second common malignant tumors arising from blood. It is more commonly seen in the elderly and 50-65 years old is the high incidence age, but age of onset trends to be younger in recent years. Men have higher incidence of multiple myeloma than women, and the ratio is 1.6:1. With age increasing, the incidence of multiple myeloma can also rise, which has brought more and more harm to people’s lives and lowered their quality of life, thus multiple myeloma has become a malignant hematological tumor that people cannot neglect. Besides, the occurrence of multiple myeloma has certain relation to race, which indicates that the incidence for black people is slightly higher.
What are the causes of multiple myeloma?
It is still not clear what cause multiple myeloma, but it may be related to ionizing radiation, chronic antigenic stimulation, herpes virus infections associated with EB virus or Kaposi's sarcoma. In addition, it may also be associated with a number of cell factors, for example IL-6 which is the growth factor of multiple myeloma.
What are the symptoms of multiple myeloma?
Misdiagnosis rate of multiple myeloma reaches up to 40% to 50%, so the following are symptoms caused misdiagnosis:
Infection: patients are prone to develop respiratory tract infection or urinary tract infections. In advanced stage, infection is one of the main causes of death.
Anemia: it can be caused because the normal function of bone marrow in patients with multiple myeloma is restrained.
Skeletal symptoms: bone pain, local mass, fracture and even paraplegia, etc.
Hypercalcemia vomiting, weakness, confusion of consciousness, polyuria or constipation, etc can appear.
Blood hyperviscosity: dizziness, blurred vision, tinnitus, and sudden occurrence of consciousness disturbance, numbness of the fingers, etc can be caused.
Renal inadequacy: patients are often accompanied by renal inadequacy when being diagnosed.
What are the diagnostic methods of multiple myeloma?
Based on clinical findings, nearly two thirds of patients have been in advanced stage at the first time of diagnosis and many patients had been misdiagnosed before due to going to the inappropriate departments. Experts from Modern Cancer Hospital Guangzhou remind you that when those symptoms such as bone pain, anemia, renal inadequacy, repeated infections appear, you should go to the department of hematology for check, thus early detection can effectively control the further development of your condition.
Patients who are highly suspected of multiple myeloma should timely carry out examinations such as tests of immunoglobulin and Bene Jones protein (BJP), X-ray and bone marrow examination. Multiple sites of X-ray examination can do a significant help on diagnosis, through which, destruction area of multiple circular bones in different size (especially the skull, ribs, vertebrae, and pelvis) can be found. When necessary, MRI, CT can be done. MRI examination can help to judge whether there is spinal cord compression; CT examination is conducive to display extramedullary lesions. Sometimes, a wide range of osteoporosis can be the only one X-ray finding for myeloma. In addition, confirmation of diagnosing multiple myeloma needs multiple sits of puncture or bone marrow biopsy.
Treatment methods for multiple myeloma
Combination of Chinese and Western medicine: it is the first choice of multiple myeloma treatment. During chemotherapy, traditional Chinese medicine can be adopted to enhance the effectiveness of chemotherapy, decrease the toxic side effects of chemotherapy, recover hematopoietic function of bone marrow, and improve immune function. During this period, the role of traditional Chinese medicine is to continuously attack myeloma cells, destroy residual myeloma cells so as to avoid their regenerations. However, during chemotherapy, orally taking of traditional Chinese medicine is not applicable to patients with serious gastrointestinal reactions, so Modern Cancer Hospital Guangzhou adopts injection.
Chemotherapy:it is a conventional therapy for multiple myeloma.
Radiotherapy: it is less used, while patients with localized myeloma, localized bone pain and symptoms of spinal cord compression are applicable to it.
Family nursing methods for patient with multiple myeloma
Rest: patients can do appropriate activities, but never do strenuous exercise, preventing falls and bruise.
Bed:in order to prevent pathologic fracture, patient should sleep on the hard bed, so elastic bed should be avoided to use.
Diet: food should be high in protein, rich in vitamins and digestible. Patients with renal dysfunction should be given low sodium, low protein diet, in order to reduce the burden on the kidneys. If hyperuricemia and hypercalcemia occur, patients should be encouraged to drink more water and daily urinary volume should be maintained above 2000ml, so as to alleviate their clinical symptoms.
Mental guide: giving patients more love and care, helping them face up to the reality, alleviating their anxieties, encouraging them to face their conditions positively.