Multiple Myeloma Treatments
Myeloma is a rare form of cancer of the plasma cells in the bone marrow of those affected. Despite being rare, there are a few different treatment options out there that can help you to overcome myeloma and start to work toward a normal life again. There are some symptoms to watch for like easy bleeding or easy bruising, fatigue, weight loss, nausea, loss of appetite, and pain in the bones. You may attribute these symptoms to other things, but if they persist, you certainly need to see a doctor. This type of cancer is going to be diagnosed most effectively with a blood test and perhaps a bone marrow test as well. Your doctor will then determine what stage the myeloma is and then determine the best course of treatment.
There are a few different types of treatment to choose from, but the first and most common is going to be radiation therapy. This is often used for solitary plasmacytomas or solitary cancers that are found. It may also be used when there are only a few of them, but most often it is not going to be used on those that do have a great deal of cancer in their system or that are of a much further progressed cancer. For those that have early stages of cancer this treatment may not be a huge issue and can help to make it easier to get treatment and get started on the road to recovery.
For those patients that have more advanced cancers, it may be necessary to take chemotherapy medications. In most cases, those with active myeloma are going to go through chemotherapy treatment with a combination of two or three medicines. The medications chosen depend on the patient themselves and things like their kidney function can make a difference in whether or not they are able to take the treatment. Drugs like bortezomib, lenalidomide, and dexamethasone are used in combination to help treat myeloma cancer. Your doctor will determine the treatment that is going to work best for your particular type and stage of cancer so that you can get the most effective treatment possible.
For those that have a donor match, bone marrow transplants may also be an option at some point as well as stem cell therapy. These are treatments that are reserved for the end of course treatment because often after a bone marrow transplant other treatments are not going to be effective and are not going to help treat cancer anymore. Bone marrow transplants must be exact matches and can be very painful and time-consuming but ultimately life-saving. If you do have end-stage cancer and this is a treatment option, it may be helpful to extend your time. For those that have what is called smoldering myeloma, you may not need treatment at all.
No matter what type of cancer you have, it is always best to get a better picture about what types of treatment there is and what options you have when it comes to the most effective treatment for you. Getting early treatment can mean the difference between a treatment that works and one that does little to help treat your cancer and get you better.