Multiple myeloma is a type of a cancer that is triggered by the growth of white blood cells in the bone marrow. Also known as plasma cells, the white blood cells are responsible for undertaking the production of antibodies that fight against diseases and infections. However, when the body is affected by multiple myeloma, plasma cells get clustered and become cancerous. There is an increased or a higher than usual level of production in plasma cells. When the intensity of these types of proteins increases, serious complications occur in the functions of the body.
The exact cause of the condition is not known but toxic chemicals, radiations, family history, etc. can help trigger the condition. The abnormal protein production can lead the blood to thicken and deposit in the organs, leading to an interference with the immune system and organs such as the kidneys and nerves. Detecting multiple myeloma symptoms earlier in time can help prevent the condition from progressing and causing further damage.
Signs and symptoms of multiple myeloma
In the early stages of the multiple myeloma, there are usually no symptoms. The signs and symptoms begin to appear as the disease progresses and will vary from one patient to another. The various symptoms associated with the fatal disease include the following.
Bone health issues – Multiple myeloma leads to pain in all the bones of the body. However, pain is commonly experienced in the skull and hips. Also, the condition causes weakness in the body parts and even the slightest of stress to the bones can lead to a fracture.
Anemia – Anemic patients suffers from severe drop in levels of red blood cells. There is a constant feeling of tiredness and lack of energy. The skin tends to look pale, and one experiences sluggishness which are major symptoms of anemia. Anemia is a different condition altogether, but patients with multiple myeloma are likely to develop this condition over time.
Kidney problems – The deposition of the excess proteins in the kidneys causes deterioration in their health over time. Typically, this symptom comes in to notice during a routine checkup or blood test. The kidneys begin to fail and lose their ability to carry out their function of excreting body waste.
Infections – One of the major signs of multiple myeloma is constantly getting affected by infections. The patient does not respond well to the treatment and he/she will remain sick for longer than usual.
Weight loss – Weight loss is yet another symptom that is associated with multiple myeloma. Although weight loss is found to be associated with several health conditions, one must undergo a checkup if there is rapid loss without a reason.
The paucity of signs and symptoms that come with this condition can make it extremely difficult to detect the condition. Also, it important to note that some patients of multiple myeloma do not experience any signs and symptoms.
Multiple myeloma is unlikely despite recent progress in the field of medicine. However, relieving symptoms and controlling progression is one of the ultimate goals of treatment and care. Closely working with a cancer specialist medical team and honestly expressing your concerns during the treatment process will aid in living a comfortable lifestyle.