My 31-year-old son has been diagnosed with multiple myeloma. What is this and what can be done to treat the problem?
Myeloma is a cancer that causes blood plasma cells in the bone marrow to proliferate. This disease can damage bone tissue and cause pain in the bones. It may also cause anemia and weaken the immune system, making the patient more susceptible to infection.
Multiple myeloma is an uncommon disease which usually strikes people older than 65. Unfortunately, it is starting to occur more often in younger people, although we do not know why. Nor do we know the cause of this kind of cancer.
Treatment with chemotherapy offers some patients the hope of surviving for many years with the disease in remission.
Here is more information from the U.S. National Library of Medicine:
People who have mild disease or in whom the diagnosis is not certain are often not treated. Instead they are closely watched. Some people have a slow-developing form of multiple myeloma (smoldering myeloma) that takes years to cause symptoms.
Chemotherapy is usually used to treat multiple myeloma. It is most often given to prevent complications of multiple myeloma such as bone fractures and kidney damage.
Radiation therapy may be done to relieve bone pain or treat a bone tumor.
If you need more information or help coping with this situation, contact a cancer support group or ask your son’s doctor for information about support networks made up of people who also are battling multiple myeloma.