What is Multiple Myeloma?
Multiple Myeloma (also called Kahler’s disease) is a type of cancer that is an abnormality of plasma cells in the immune system. The plasma cells that are affected are found in bone marrow, so the cancer weakens bones. It can affect multiple systems within the body.
What are the signs and symptoms?
The signs and symptoms vary depending on the extent of the cancer. It could be an incidental finding – which means it can be discovered unintentionally when being treated for something else. Some symptom examples include severe anemia, broken bones without injury, kidney problems, high calcium levels, loss of appetite, fever and infections.
What causes it?
The exact cause of Multiple Myeloma is unknown, but certain things may cause an increased risk. Examples include exposure to chemicals such as Benzene or Agent Orange or exposure to radiation.
What is the life expectancy of someone with Multiple Myeloma?
Treatments for Multiple Myeloma have improved substantially in recent years. People diagnosed are now living much longer, like chronic conditions.
What treatments are available?
In the past, the treatment options were limited, but now there are over 10 treatment options to manage the cancer, such as stem cell transplants, medications, chemotherapy and radiation. If you are diagnosed with multiple myeloma, your doctor will discuss your treatment options in depth to determine the most appropriate treatment plan for you.