Sunday, January 15, 2006

multiple myeloma

Multiple myeloma is a series of malignancies composed of plasma cells scattered through the bone marrow, interrupting the antibody production. Multiple myeloma usually appears in people over 50 years of age.
Symptoms of multiple myeloma are traced to the proliferation of plasma-cell tumors from the bone marrow into the hard bone tissue causing an erosion of the bone. These symptoms include lack of energy, weight loss, recurrent infections, anemia, bone pain, chronic renal failure, and spontaneous pathologic fractures.
Treatment of multiple myeloma consists of systemic chemotherapy and radiation. The therapy helps to relieve symptoms and extend the useful life of the person. A balanced diet, physical activity, and sometimes steroids can be suggested to prevent symptoms. Multiple myeloma may be asymptomatic for years and can be discovered by a routine blood test. Early detection is important and any older person with bone pain and anemia should be tested for multiple myeloma. Once the symptomatic stage is reached and renal failure occurs, the prognosis is poor. If the disease is detected and treated early, the person may experience a remission for years.
Ham" R. J. Geriatric Medicine Annual-1987. Oradell, N.J.: Medical Economic Books, 1987.
Phipps, W. J., et al. Medical Surgical Nursing. St. Louis: C. V. Mosby Co., 1983.


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