Dr. Ram Ganjoo
St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, London University
Senior Consultant Medicine and Clinical Haematology
What is Multiple Myeloma?
Multiple Myeloma is a type of cancer that starts in the plasma cell of the bone marrow. In this syndrome the plasma cells undergo a malignant transformation and become cancerous. These myeloma cells stops producing the necessary proteins and starts to produce an abnormal type of protein called the M protein.
The myeloma accumulation causes the outer layer of the bone to erode away, making the bones weaker. This may cause pain and even break or fractures of bones.
What causes Multiple Myeloma?
The trigger element that causes the plasma cells to become cancerous is not known. The cancerous myeloma cells surround the healthy plasma and can erode the bone. The abnormal proteins produced can make the blood viscous and can thereby interfere in the normal functioning of kidney, nerves and also the immune system.
What are the symptoms of Multiple Myeloma?
Some of the symptoms faced by patient with myeloma are
- Nerve damage
- Spinal cord compression
There are four stages of Multiple Myeloma:
Smoldering- Were Myeloma is present with less or no symptoms.
Stage 1-eastly diagnosed with slight anemia and no bone damage
Stage 2-More anemia and bone damage and m protein formation.
Stage 3-Severe anemia and m protein with signs of kidney damage.
Blood tests of the following substances in the body are important to measure to confirm the disease.
1. Calcium level
2. Albumin level
3. Kidney performance level
4. Total protein level
5. Complete blood count
6. Urine and blood tests to identify the proteins or antibodies
7. Immunoglobulins level