Is Multiple Myeloma Hereditary
Everyone has different health conditions that are part of their family history. If you have a relative diagnosed with multiple myeloma, you might wonder whether you’re at increased risk of getting it as well.
Although scientists and doctors don’t yet have a full understanding of why some people develop multiple myeloma and others do not, research has started to paint the picture. Here’s what you need to know about your risks if someone in your family has been diagnosed with multiple myeloma.
Heredity And Multiple Myeloma
The majority of people with multiple myeloma do not have a family history of the disease. Inherited genetic variations could increase a person’s chance of developing the disease. According to the American Cancer Society, multiple myeloma is more than twice as common for African Americans than white Americans but its not clear why.
The overall chance of contracting the condition is very low. It’s likely that other factors, such as environmental exposures, can also play a role.
Bone And Calcium Problems
Myeloma cells also interfere with cells that help keep bones strong. Bones are constantly being remade to keep them strong. Two kinds of bone cells work together to keep bones healthy and strong:
- Osteoclasts break down old bone
- Osteoblasts lay down new bone
Myeloma cells make a substance that tells the osteoclasts to speed up dissolving the bone. So old bone is broken down without new bone to replace it, making the bones weak and easy to break. Fractured bones are a major problem in people with myeloma. This increase in bone break-down can also raise calcium levels in the blood. Problems caused by high calcium levels are discussed in Signs and Symptoms of Multiple Myeloma.
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Taking Care Of Yourself
To help you feel better while you get treatment:
- Eat a healthy diet. A dietitian can help you choose the right foods, especially if you’re having trouble eating certain things because of your treatment.
- Exercise if you can. Stay active to feel better, have more energy, and protect your bones.
- Get plenty of rest. Take naps or breaks as needed during the day.
- Take advantage of good days. Use those days to do the things you enjoy.
- Ask for help. Look for support groups to help you and your family manage this disease.
Skin Cancer Is One Of The Most Common Types Of Cancer
According to the american cancer society, just over 100,000 new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in the united states each year. The skin cancer foundation estimates doctors diagnosed ov. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the united states by a pretty large margin, and it does not discriminate. However, as with other types of cancer,. This type of cancer forms in the cells that give color to your skin, called melanocytes. In the united states, it’s estimated that doctors diagnose over 100,000 new skin cancer cases each year. No one is ever prepared to hear they have any type of cancer, particularly not melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer. There are a number of different treatments doctors recommend. One in seven men in the united states will receive a prostate cancer diagnosis during his lifetime. Of course, your specialist is the main person whose advice you should follow but it doesn’t do anyone harm. If breast cancer is diagnosed at an early enough stage, it’s treatable. Melanoma is a skin cancer usually caused by ultraviolet rays from the sun or tanning beds. It’s usually caused by ultraviolet rays from the sun or tanning beds.
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The Role Of Plasma Cells
Plasma cells produce antibodies. These are proteins that identify and fight foreign invaders. When you develop an infection, your plasma cells normally produce antibodies called immunoglobulins to help destroy it. Each immunoglobulin has a slightly different function.
Myeloma cells also produce immunoglobulins, sometimes in excessive or harmful amounts. The extra immunoglobulins may show up in the urine. Most people with myeloma have an immunoglobulin protein called Bence-Jones in their urine. This protein can be damaging to the kidneys.
Three percent of people with myeloma have nonsecretory myeloma. In this form of the disease, the cancerous plasma cells do not produce an immunoglobulin protein. There is no protein in the blood or urine, but malignant plasma cells are in the bone marrow.
What Causes Multiple Myeloma
What triggers the malignancy of plasma cells in multiple myeloma is unknown. The cancerous myeloma plasma cells proliferate and crowd out normal plasma cells and can etch away areas of bones. The proteins produced in large amounts can cause many of the symptoms of the disease by making the blood more thickened and depositing the proteins in organs that can interfere with the functions of the kidneys, nerves, and immune system. However, triggers or causes related to multiple myeloma may include toxic chemicals, radiation, some viruses, immune disorders, and family history of the disease or other related problems like MGUS.
Patients with myeloma may be asymptomatic with an unexplained increase in protein in the blood. With more advanced disease, some myeloma patients may have weakness due to anemia caused by inadequate production of red blood cells, with bone pain due to the aforementioned bone damage, and as the abnormal M protein can accumulate in and damage the kidneys thereby resulting in a patient being found to have otherwise unexplained kidney damage and decreased kidney function. Multiple myeloma cancer cells may be in or outside the bone marrow.
The following is a list of symptoms and signs of multiple myeloma:
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Does Having A Close Relative With Multiple Myeloma Put You At Increased Risk
Research suggests that people with a first-degree relative are about four times as likely to develop multiple myeloma.
However, it’s difficult to tease out the differences between genetic factors and common environmental factors, such as those encountered by siblings who grew up in the same household. As one MyMyelomaTeam member said, “It may not be hereditary, but it sure is familial.”
Another member noted that they and their father were both diagnosed with multiple myeloma and had both spent several years in the army. “From what I have learned, this is not a hereditary disease, yet here we are,” they said, adding that their sister was also going to be tested.
Support Groups For Multiple Myeloma
If you’ve been diagnosed with multiple myeloma, you may want to contact a local or national support group, such as Myeloma UK.
Your local haematology team will be able to direct you to helpful resources.
Support groups can offer more information and advice. They can also often put you in touch with other people in a similar situation so you can share advice and talk about your experiences.
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What Are The Common Symptoms Of Multiple Myeloma
Because it crowds out healthy blood cells, multiple myeloma can create symptoms all over the body. For example, if the body does not have enough red blood cells, it is called anemia. Anemia can cause fatigue, dizziness, cold hands or feet, or pale skin.
When the body does not have enough white blood cells, it is called neutropenia. Neutropenia can cause repeated infections or infections that will not go away.
When there are not enough platelets, thrombocytopenia occurs. Thrombocytopenia can cause the body to bleed more easily, and result in frequent nosebleeds, bruising, or small, pinhead-sized red spots on the skin called petechiae.1
Other symptoms of multiple myeloma may include:1,4,5
- Bone fractures
- Kidney damage or failure
- High levels of calcium in the blood , which can cause frequent urination, constipation, extreme thirst, weakness or drowsiness
- Monoclonal gammopathy, which is having too many copies of the same antibody
- Nerve damage
- Tingling in the hands or feet
- Skin changes such as bruising easily, changes to skin texture, or”raccoon eyes”
Establish A Support System
Establish a support system by gathering a group of friends and family members that can lend a helping hand or emotional support when you need it. Support groups can also be helpful and may be found online. If you prefer to meet with a support group in person, visit the website to find groups in your area.
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What Are The Stages Of Multiple Myeloma
There are four stages of multiple myeloma. While many health care professionals use different staging, these are various stages cited by many clinicians:
- Smoldering: multiple myeloma with no symptoms
- Stage I: early disease with little anemia, relatively small amount of M protein and no bone damage
- Stage II: more anemia and M protein as well as bone damage
- Stage III: still more M protein, anemia, as well as signs of kidney damage
Because staging criteria differ according to different medical groups, some clinicians simply define the individual’s multiple myeloma without assigning a stage and simply estimate a prognosis for their patient. In 2013, an international group divided stages into three stages based on two criteria, the concentration of beta-2-microglobulin and serum albumin levels over time, these defined criteria may become widely accepted.
However, each individual is unique and may do better or worse than the prediction based on the various stages.
What Is Multiple Myeloma What Are Plasma Cells
Multiple myeloma definition
Multiple myeloma is a type of cancer of the plasma cells of the bone marrow. Plasma cells are protein-making cells that normally produce the different kinds of antibodies of the disease-fighting immune system. In multiple myeloma, the plasma cells undergo a malignant transformation and become cancerous. These myeloma cells stop making different forms of protein in response to the immune system’s needs and instead start to produce a single abnormal type of protein sometimes termed a monoclonal or M protein. Multiple myeloma plasma cell populations accumulate in the bone marrow, and these collections of cells called plasmacytomas can erode the hard outer shell or cortex of the bone that normally surrounds the marrow. These weakened bones show thinning of the bone, as seen in nonmalignant osteoporosis or what appear to be punched out or lytic bone lesions. These lesions may cause pain and even breaks or fractures of the weakened bones. They may cause other systemic problems listed below. People often refer to multiple myeloma simply as myeloma . The disease usually occurs in people past middle age. However, rarely it can occur in a child.
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Cytotoxics And Targeted Therapies
are a relatively new class of cancer drugs that can overcome many of the issues seen with the use of cytotoxics. They are divided into two groups: small molecule and antibodies. The massive toxicity seen with the use of cytotoxics is due to the lack of cell specificity of the drugs. They will kill any rapidly dividing cell, tumor or normal. Targeted therapies are designed to affect cellular proteins or processes that are utilised by the cancer cells. This allows a high dose to cancer tissues with a relatively low dose to other tissues. Although the are often less severe than that seen of cytotoxic chemotherapeutics, life-threatening effects can occur. Initially, the targeted therapeutics were supposed to be solely selective for one protein. Now it is clear that there is often a range of protein targets that the drug can bind. An example target for targeted therapy is the BCR-ABL1 protein produced from the , a genetic lesion found commonly in and in some patients with . This has enzyme activity that can be inhibited by , a drug.
Safe Handling In Health Care Settings
As of 2018, there were no set for antineoplastic drugs, i.e., OSHA or the have not set workplace safety guidelines.
NIOSH recommends using a that is designed to decrease worker exposure. Additionally, it recommends training of all staff, the use of cabinets, implementing an initial evaluation of the technique of the safety program, and wearing protective gloves and gowns when opening drug packaging, handling vials, or labeling. When wearing , one should inspect gloves for physical defects before use and always wear double gloves and protective gowns. Health care workers are also required to wash their hands with water and soap before and after working with antineoplastic drugs, change gloves every 30 minutes or whenever punctured, and discard them immediately in a chemotherapy waste container.
The gowns used should be disposable gowns made of polyethylene-coated polypropylene. When wearing gowns, individuals should make sure that the gowns are closed and have long sleeves. When preparation is done, the final product should be completely sealed in a plastic bag.
The health care worker should also wipe all waste containers inside the ventilated cabinet before removing them from the cabinet. Finally, workers should remove all protective wear and put them in a bag for their disposal inside the ventilated cabinet.
Housekeeping and waste disposal
Where Can I Find More Information
If you find that you are interested in learning more about blood diseases and disorders, here are a few other resources that may be of some help:
Search Blood, the official journal of ASH, for the results of the latest blood research. While recent articles generally require a subscriber login, patients interested in viewing an access-controlled article in Blood may obtain a copy by e-mailing a request to the .
What Are The Symptoms Of Multiple Myeloma
As with other blood cancers, multiple myeloma rarely causes obvious symptoms, says Omar Nadeem, MD, clinical director of the Myeloma Cellular Therapies Program at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Bone pain is possible, but it’s most apt to occur with advanced cancer. Some people get severe, acute back pain due to a fracture, but again that tends to happen most frequently with advanced disease.
Other myeloma symptoms include nausea, constipation, constipation, and frequent infections, according to the Mayo Clinic. Severe fatigue is another possible symptom the exhaustion comes thanks to anemia. More than 60% of people with myeloma are anemic by the time they’re diagnosed, per the IMF.
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Is Myeloma Preventable
Similar to how colon polyps can develop into colon cancer in a minority of people over many years, similar events can occur in your bone marrow. Precursor diseases to multiple myeloma, termed monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance and smoldering myeloma , are precancerous conditions that put patients at a higher risk to develop multiple myeloma.
Unlike a diagnosis of breast cancer, colon cancer, or lung cancer, the diagnosis of multiple myeloma is based on your doctor identifying that mutated plasma cells are causing fractures, anemia, and/or kidney failure. Research is ongoing to identify patients with these precursor diseases early, before patients develop symptoms. Clinical trials are using some of the same drugs in patients with MGUS and SMM that are used in multiple myeloma. At this stage, these clinical trials are trying to prevent patients from developing symptomatic multiple myeloma.
If you are experiencing symptoms or are at risk for multiple myeloma, talk with your doctor about detection and treatment. Depending on results of your blood tests and your medical history, you may be referred to a hematologist, a doctor who specializes in blood conditions.
How Does It Develop
Plasma cells form from a type of white blood cell called B lymphocytes. When B lymphocytes are exposed to bacteria or viruses, they can change into plasma cells which help the body fight infection.1
If these plasma cells grow out of control, they become a cancer. These cancerous cells then crowd out healthy cells in the bone marrow, including red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.1
Multiple myeloma may require treatment or it may not. Multiple myeloma that is causing symptoms may be called active myeloma and treatment is necessary. If the myeloma is not causing symptoms, it may be called a smoldering or indolent myeloma. Smoldering myeloma may be closely watched and treatment may not be needed until symptoms occur.3
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Light Chain Myeloma Some People With Multiple Myeloma Have Myeloma Cells That Dont Make A Complete Immunoglobulin People With Light Chain Myeloma Only Make The Light Chain Part Of The Immunoglobulin And Not The Heavy Chain
Light chains can collect in and damage the kidneys. Light chains are smaller than M-proteins and show up better in the urine than the blood. This is because light chains are filtered out of the blood when they reach the kidneys. Light chains in urine are also called Bence-Jones proteins. About 15%20% of people with multiple myeloma have light chain myeloma.
Symptoms Of Multiple Myeloma
In the early stages, myeloma may not cause any symptoms. It’s often only suspected or diagnosed after a routine blood or urine test.
Eventually, myeloma causes a wide range of problems, including:
- a persistent bone pain, usually in the back, ribs or hips
- tiredness, weakness and shortness of breath caused by anaemia
- high levels of calcium in the blood which may cause symptoms including extreme thirst, stomach pain, needing to pee frequently, constipation or confusion
- weight loss
- blurred vision, dizziness or headaches caused by thickened blood
- repeated infections
- bruising and unusual bleeding such as frequent nosebleeds, bleeding gums and heavy periods
- weak bones that break easily if this affects the spine, it might cause symptoms such as pins and needles, numbness and weakness in the legs and feet, and problems controlling your bladder and bowels, which requires emergency investigation
- kidney problems
Myeloma doesn’t usually cause a lump or tumour. Instead, it damages the bones and affects the production of healthy blood cells.
Read more about the symptoms of multiple myeloma.
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