Multiple myeloma is a type of cancer in the blood cells; this usually develops in the plasma cells. These plasma cells are the white blood cells that help in fighting an infection. When you suffer from multiple myeloma, the cancer cells start growing in the bone marrow and take over other strong blood cells in the body. These cancer cells then create new abnormal proteins that have the potential to damage your kidneys. This condition has certain symptoms that include bone pain and fragile bones that are prone to fractures and affects more than one parts of your body
Staging of multiple myeloma
The initial stage of myeloma is known as the smoldering stage; this stage does not have any active symptoms towards the condition. In this stage, the myeloma cells are present in the body, but they are not making any inroads toward causing damages to the bones or kidneys. The doctor might not be able to trace them in your blood.
The affected area in this stage is not more than one, and the number of myeloma cells in the blood and urine is relatively low. The bone X-rays will appear normal, while your hemoglobin levels will be slightly below normal.
There are a good amount of myeloma cells present in the body in this stage. The monoclonal immunoglobulin is increased in this stage of multiple myeloma. The X-rays will show several damaged areas, the hemoglobin levels will be low, and the calcium levels could be high.
The third stage is the final stage of multiple myeloma. In this stage, the number of myeloma cells found in the body are really high. The hemoglobin level drops below 8.5 grams per deciliter, and the calcium levels in the blood are high. At this stage, the cancer causes multiple bone destruction.
The survival rates of this cancer depend largely on the stage at which the cancer is being diagnosed and treated. However, the doctor will be able to diagnose your situation better and give you a clear idea about the survival rate.
Survival rates for multiple myeloma
The survival rate is gauged by comparing the life expectancy to people around you that are not affected by the condition. The average survival rate for people with multiple myeloma, according to the American Cancer Society, are as follows:
- Stage 1: 62 months, which accounts to around five years.
- Stage 2: 44 months, which accounts to around three to four years.
- Stage 3: 29 months, which accounts to around two to three years.
These survival rates are calculated from the date the treatment begins. The average rate of survival is the median survival rate. This means that more than half of the people that were diagnosed with multiple myeloma lived more than the average survival length according to their stage.
The abovementioned stats are based on people that were diagnosed and treated in the past 25 years. The American Cancer Society has also taken note that the methods of treatment have improved significantly in those years. This comes to show us that the survival rate and length of people with multiple myeloma will continue to improve with the advancements in medical science.