You will face many hard decisions if a loved one or you have been diagnosed with multiple myeloma. Including several questions like where should you go for treatment? What are the available treatment options? How to maintain your quality of life? We have tried to describe these concerns, the types, and possible treatment, which will help you decide.
What Is Multiple Myeloma?
Multiple myeloma is a type of cancer that originates in a type of white blood cell called the plasma cell. These cells make antibodies that protect our body from foreign bodies and microorganisms and fight infections. In multiple myeloma patients, abnormal plasma cells accumulate in the bone marrow and outnumber the healthy blood cells present there. These cancer cells do not produce antibodies. Instead, they produce abnormal proteins that affect the kidneys and other organs.
What Are the Types of Multiple Myeloma?
- Hyperdiploid (HMM) -Around 45 % of multiple myeloma cases are this type, and it is a less aggressive type. Here, the abnormal plasma cells have more chromosomes than normal.
- Non-hyperdiploid or Hypodiploid - Unlike the first type, these cancer cells have fewer chromosomes. It is more aggressive and is seen in 40 % of the cases.
- Light Chain Myeloma.
- Non-secretory Myeloma.
- Solitary Plasmacytoma.
- Monoclonal Gammopathy of Undetermined Significance (MGUS).
- Smoldering Multiple Myeloma (SMM).
- Immunoglobulin E (IgE) Myeloma.
- Immunoglobulin D (IgD) Myeloma.
What Are the Treatment Options for Multiple Myeloma?
Multiple myeloma that is causing symptoms is called active myeloma, and it requires treatment. And if it does not cause symptoms, it is called smoldering myeloma, which only requires close monitoring. Multiple myeloma is only treated if it causes symptoms. All cancer patients at MSKCC are offered compassionate and personalized care from their experts. Specialists who are experienced in surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, rehabilitation, and maintaining the quality of life will work closely to come up with a customized treatment plan to ensure the best outcome possible. Patients also benefit from new chemotherapy drugs through thousands of ongoing clinical trials at MSKCC.