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Things You Need To Know About Multiple Myeloma

Plasma cells are located in bone marrow, which is the soft spongy material found inside bones where different types of blood cells are created. Multiple myeloma is a type of cancer that begins in the plasma cells and limits their ability to develop different antibodies which are required to fight infection.

Multiple myeloma is classified as a developmental disease because the cancerous cells will continue to divide, causing the abundance of abnormal cells to be much higher than the abundance of normally functioning cells.

Also, myeloma cells (abnormal plasma cells) can create tumors in bones, further advancing the symptoms of the cancer. Due to the reduced number of blood cells in the body, some significant side effects, such as fatigue and anemia become prevalent.

In summary, multiple myeloma causes a buildup of normal blood cells in the bone marrow, weakened or damaged bones, bone pain and infections. Although some of the results of this disease may be the same, it can be classified into two different types.

The first type is smoldering (indolent) multiple myeloma, a condition where the symptoms are not prevalent. This type is characterized by having 10% or more of the blood being made of plasma. This type must be diagnosed using specialized tests. The second type, active multiple myeloma, shows symptoms such as blood in urine, lesions and kidney problems. It is important that this condition is diagnosed as early as possible and the potential risk factors of this disease are consulted with a medical professional.

Sources:

“What is multiple myeloma?” Canadian Cancer Society. Retrieved from: http://www.cancer.ca/en/cancer-information/cancer-type/multiple-myeloma/multiple-myeloma/?region=qc

“Diseases and Conditions: Multiple Myeloma” Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/multiple-myeloma/basics/definition/con-20026607

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