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Date Posted: 04:23:10 06/17/04 Thu
Author: Keith
Author Host/IP:
Subject: Multiple Myeloma info

I was asked over at DP1 if I could post a little info on the above mentioned illness. The below is very basic but gives an idea and I hope it is of use to individual who made the request.

1. Multiple myeloma is a malignancy of plasma cells, specialized lymphocytes that normally produce antibodies.

2. In multiple myeloma, a clone of malignant plasma cells multiplies uncontrollably until it takes over the marrow and spills out into other parts of the body. As these cells multiply inside the marrow cavities of bones, they disrupt production of normal blood cells and destroy the bone, often causing severe bone pain as well.

3. While anemia and increased vulnerability to infection may be the first signs of this cancer, the most characteristic symptoms are bone pain and fracture of bones, especially the vertebrae. These symptoms are caused by invasion and destruction of bone by proliferation plasma cells. Myeloma affects those mainly over age 50.

4. Although there is no cure for myeloma, chemotherapy can prolong life for several years, until the patient becomes resistant to treatment. Radiotherapy may be used to relieve the bone pain, while transfusions can ameliorate the anemia. Bone marrow transplantation is also useful in some cases. Myeloma is twice as likely to occur in men as in women.

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