Cover photo

Myeloma Cancer

Know the Basics

Hello, Tutti!

Hope you had a fantastic week since our last newsletter discussing anal cancer awareness. This time, we're focusing on Myeloma Cancer as March is also dedicated to raising awareness for this type of cancer. Some of you may not be familiar with Myeloma Cancer, while others, like David, a warrior in our community, have firsthand experience and have been part of our support program during the mint.

So, let's dive into what Myeloma Cancer is, its symptoms, risk factors, prevention, detection, treatment options, worldwide statistics and more.

  1. What is Myeloma Cancer?

Myeloma, also known as multiple myeloma, is a type of cancer that develops in plasma cells, a type of white blood cell found in the bone marrow. In Myeloma Cancer, abnormal plasma cells grow out of control and form tumors in the bone marrow, preventing the production of normal blood cells. This can lead to various complications, including anemia, bone pain, and an increased risk of infections.

  1. Symptoms of Myeloma Cancer

Myeloma Cancer can manifest with various signs and symptoms, including:

  • Bone Pain: Individuals may experience persistent bone pain, particularly in the back or ribs. In some cases, a broken bone may occur without an obvious injury.

  • Weakness or Fatigue: Myeloma Cancer can cause weakness, fatigue, and overall feelings of lethargy.

  • Frequent Infections: Patients may be more susceptible to infections or have difficulty overcoming infections.

  • Unexplained Weight Loss: Significant and unexplained weight loss may occur, which can be a sign of underlying health issues.

  • Easy Bruising or Bleeding: Patients with Myeloma Cancer may bruise easily or experience episodes of bleeding, even with minor injuries.

  • Kidney Problems: Myeloma Cancer can affect kidney function, leading to symptoms such as increased thirst, frequent urination, and swelling in the legs.

  • Other Symptoms: Additional symptoms may include heavy nosebleeds, confusion, drowsiness, and abnormal blood counts.

If you or someone you know experiences any of these symptoms, it's essential to consult a healthcare professional for a thorough evaluation and appropriate management. Early detection and treatment can significantly improve outcomes for individuals with Myeloma Cancer.

  1. Causes of Myeloma

The exact causes of Myeloma Cancer remain largely unknown. However, certain factors have been associated with an increased risk of developing the disease. These include:

  • Chemical Exposure: Exposure to certain chemicals may contribute to the development of Myeloma Cancer. Individuals who work in industries where they are exposed to toxic chemicals may have a higher risk.

  • Radiation Exposure: High levels of radiation, such as those experienced by individuals working in nuclear power plants or undergoing radiation therapy for other medical conditions, have been linked to an increased risk of Myeloma Cancer.

  • Viral Infections: Some viral infections, such as HIV, have been associated with a higher risk of Myeloma Cancer.

  • Heredity: While Myeloma Cancer is not typically considered hereditary, there may be rare instances where genetic factors play a role. It is uncommon for more than one person in a family to be affected by Myeloma Cancer.

  1. Detection of Myeloma Cancer

Diagnosing Myeloma Cancer typically involves a series of tests and procedures to confirm the presence of the disease. These may include:

  1. Blood and Urine Tests: Blood tests are performed to measure the levels and type of abnormal proteins, known as paraproteins, produced by myeloma cells. Urine tests may also be conducted to detect the presence of Bence Jones protein, a type of paraprotein found in the urine.

  2. X-rays: X-rays are commonly taken of various parts of the body, including the head, spine, ribs, hips, legs, and arms, to detect any bone damage caused by myeloma cells.

  3. Scans: Imaging studies such as CT scans and MRI scans may be used to obtain detailed three-dimensional images of the body. These scans can help identify areas of bone damage and assess the extent of myeloma involvement, both within and outside the bones. Other less common scans, such as FDG/PET and Sestamibi scans, may also be utilised.

  4. Bone Marrow Biopsy: A bone marrow biopsy involves the removal of a small sample of bone marrow tissue, typically from the hip bone, using a thin needle. The sample is then examined under a microscope to detect the presence of myeloma cells.

  5. Cytogenetic Tests: Cytogenetic tests analyze the chromosomes within the myeloma cells obtained from the bone marrow biopsy. These tests can identify any genetic abnormalities or mutations that may influence treatment options and prognosis.

  1. Treatment Options for Myeloma Cancer:

Treatment for Myeloma Cancer is highly individualised and depends on various factors, including the individual's age, overall health, and the stage of the disease. Common treatment options may include:

  1. Active Monitoring: For early-stage Myeloma Cancer, active monitoring with regular check-ups may be recommended when immediate treatment is not deemed necessary.

  2. Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy involves the use of drugs to kill cancer cells and may be administered orally, intravenously, or subcutaneously. Common chemotherapy drugs used for Myeloma Cancer include thalidomide, lenalidomide, and bortezomib.

  3. Steroids: Corticosteroids such as prednisone or dexamethasone may be used alone or in combination with other medications to modify the body's immune responses, reduce inflammation, and kill Myeloma cells.

  4. Targeted Therapy: Drugs like bortezomib (Velcade) and carfilzomib (Kyprolis) target specific proteins within Myeloma cells, inhibiting their growth and causing them to die.

  5. Immunotherapy: Immunotherapy drugs such as daratumumab (Darzalex) and elotuzumab (Empliciti) help the immune system identify and destroy Myeloma cells.

  6. Stem Cell Transplantation: Stem cell transplantation may be recommended for eligible patients, involving the infusion of healthy blood-forming stem cells to replace diseased or damaged bone marrow.

  7. Radiation Therapy: Radiation therapy uses high-energy x-rays to target and kill Myeloma cells, particularly in localized areas causing symptoms such as bone pain.

  8. Bisphosphonates: Bisphosphonate drugs like zoledronic acid or pamidronate help strengthen bones, reduce bone pain, and prevent complications related to bone damage caused by Myeloma.

  9. Plasma Exchange: Plasma exchange may be used to remove excess proteins from the blood, particularly in cases where paraprotein levels are significantly elevated.

  10. Palliative Care: Palliative care aims to improve quality of life by managing symptoms, alleviating pain, and providing emotional support for patients with advanced Myeloma Cancer.

  1. Prognosis for Myeloma

While it's not possible for doctors to predict the exact course of Myeloma Cancer for each individual, they can provide a prognosis based on various factors such as the type of myeloma, test results, rate of tumor growth, age, overall health, and medical history.

Treatment for Myeloma Cancer continues to advance, offering improved control of the disease, symptom management, and enhanced quality of life. However, it's important to note that current treatments cannot cure Myeloma Cancer.

When the disease is well managed, individuals with Myeloma Cancer often experience periods of good health that may last for several months or even years before requiring further treatment. Regular monitoring and ongoing communication with healthcare providers are essential for optimising outcomes and addressing any changes in the disease's progression.

  1. Worldwide Statistics on Myeloma Cancer:

Myeloma Cancer affects people of all ages and ethnicities worldwide, with varying incidence rates across different regions. According to data from global cancer registries:

  • The incidence of Myeloma Cancer tends to increase with age, with the highest rates observed in individuals over 65 years old.

  • In some regions, such as North America and Europe, the incidence of Myeloma Cancer is higher compared to other parts of the world.

  • Myeloma Cancer affects both men and women, although some studies suggest a slightly higher incidence in men.

  • The survival rates for Myeloma Cancer have improved in recent years due to advancements in treatment options and supportive care measures.

  • Despite these improvements, Myeloma Cancer remains a challenging disease to treat, and more research is needed to further enhance outcomes for affected individuals.

  1. How to Support Your Health with Myeloma-Friendly Foods

While there isn't a specific diet to cure or treat Myeloma, incorporating certain foods into your meals can help support overall health and well-being. Here are some examples of foods that may be beneficial for individuals with Myeloma:

  1. Fruits and vegetables: Rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, fruits and vegetables can help boost the immune system and reduce inflammation. Aim for a colorful variety to get a wide range of nutrients.

  2. Whole grains: Whole grains like quinoa, brown rice, oats, and whole wheat provide fiber and essential nutrients that support digestion and heart health.

  3. Lean protein: Include sources of lean protein such as poultry, fish, tofu, beans, lentils, and nuts in your diet to support muscle strength and repair.

  4. Dairy or dairy alternatives: Calcium-rich foods like milk, yogurt, cheese, and fortified plant-based milk can help maintain bone health, which may be affected by Myeloma.

  5. Healthy fats: Incorporate sources of healthy fats like avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil into your meals to support heart health and reduce inflammation.

  6. Hydration: Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated and support overall health.

    It's important to consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian for personalised dietary recommendations based on your individual needs and treatment plan. They can help you create a well-balanced diet that supports your overall health and management of Myeloma.

  1. Special & healthy treat from the Frutti Chef

After diving into the world of Myeloma, it's time to treat ourselves to something special. Our Frutti Chef has concocted a mouthwatering, healthy recipe just for you. Let's indulge in this delightful treat together as we embrace wellness and awareness with a smile!

  1. TFW FAM making an impact

Big shoutout to our incredible Tutti Fam for their outstanding efforts in raising awareness for Anal Cancer last Thursday on #analcancerday! Your dedication, support, and engagement truly make a difference in spreading awareness and understanding about this important health issue. Together, we are making strides in educating others and promoting early detection.

Thank You for Being the Heartbeat of TFW!

Your presence, engagement, and commitment make TFW the awesome community it is. Thank you for reading this newsletter, for actively contributing to our shared journey towards a healthier community. Your bravery in keeping the conversation alive and breaking the silence around cancer is inspiring. Together, we're making waves, and we're grateful to have you as a vital part of the TFW family. Until next time, stay bold, stay brave, stay beautiful!


Please note: The information provided in this newsletter is for general informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

If you found this newsletter informative and valuable, please consider sharing it with your friends and family. You can also collect it for just 5 $MATIC, a contribution that goes directly to our donation wallet (0x83F371C97B80BD9BbA4330164F0Bf47E857577DC), supporting cancer warriors on their journey.

Collect this post to permanently own it.
TFW Talks Cancer logo
Subscribe to TFW Talks Cancer and never miss a post.
#myeloma cancer
  • Loading comments...