March 19, 2010

Diagnosis For Treating Multiple Myeloma

Posted in Category : Common Ailments

Diagnosis of multiple myeloma can be done if the doctor finds some of the symptoms of the problem, including associated with bone damage, kidney failure and the failure in the production of red blood cells. To find out if you have multiple myeloma, doctors may test to see if you have 10 percent over the normal level of plasma cells expected in your system. They also test for higher levels of a particular protein that multiple myelomas produce, called Para protein. But its presence does not guarantee that you have the problem, but that its absence can make the diagnosis doubtful. They test for levels of beta-2 micro globulin, found in all nucleated cells, which increase in cases of multiple myeloma. They check for a protein called M protein (or monoclonal protein). If found, they follow up with tests to check if red blood cells levels and levels of calcium from collapsing bones are going down, and if renal failure is affecting levels of uric acid and creatinine output. They may use X-rays or other imaging techniques to see if you find out if your bones are leaching calcium and getting thinner, as the plasma cells affect bone production. They may also dispense with the niceties and take a sample of the bone itself and microscopically eyeball it for plasma cells that are cancerous.

While there is no known cure multiple myeloma yet, it is treated differently depending on the individual and the cancer’s stage and rate of progress. Treatment may involve chemotherapy, which targets cells that are dividing. Given that cancer cells make a career of uncontrollable division, the drugs affect cells that are cancerous rather than those peaceably going about their business. Radiation has a similar effect. Once the therapy is done, the patient’s own healthy stem cells (picked up after initial chemotherapy) may be used to replace the cells lost, thus ensuring a quick and healthy alternative that avoids the risk of even a weakened immune system rejecting them. In some cases, bone marrow may be transplanted soon after chemotherapy or later. To reduce the damaging effects of the disease, patients are treated to reduce calcium in the system, the effects of bone damage, and the anemia that is often seen. Exercise, which promotes bone growth, and consume fluids to water down the proteins released by plasma cells that can damage your kidneys. While having a complex mix of foods, avoid having vitamins and other nutrients that may interfere with treatment without first consulting the doctor.