Multiple Myeloma

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Multiple Myeloma
Pamela Haverly B.S.N., R.N.

Multiple Myeloma
Multiple Myeloma is a cancer formed by malignant plasma cells. Normal plasma cells are found in the bone marrow and are an important part of the immune system. Plasma cells become cancerous and grow out of control they can produce a tumor called a plasmacytoma. Theses tumors can develop in a bone but are also rarely found in other tissues. If there is only a single plasma cell tumor, it is called an isolated or solitary plasmacytoma. When there is more than one plasma cell tumor, it is called multiple myeloma.
In the United States , the risk of getting multiple myeloma is 1 in 149% (0.67%). The American Cancer Society estimates in 2013: About 22,350 new cases will be
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High calcium levels can cause extreme thirst, nausea, constipation, confusion, and appetite loss. * Kidney failure can be caused by high levels of M protein. (M proteins are found with multiple myeloma, and other conditions and is found by urinalysis). * Anemia-related fatigue occurs when there is a decrease in red blood cells (RBCs). This happens when myeloma cells replace RBCs in the bone marrow. * Bone injuries and fractures occur when the myeloma cells invade the bone. Osteolytic bone fractures appear as punched out areas on x-ray. Bone pain is experienced especially in the back, pelvis, ribs and skull. * Nervous systems symptoms large myeloma can cause the blood to thicken (hyperviscosity) causing blood flow to slow to the brain and confusion, dizziness and stroke like symptoms. * Weakness or numbness especially in the lower extremities, related to the myeloma cells can be nerve toxic. * Weight loss. * Chronic infections.
How is multiple myeloma diagnosed? Most cases are detected before any signs are present. Routine physical exams, blood and urine tests can add evidence of myeloma.
Blood counts and detection of M proteins are performed. X-rays, MRI’s and CT scans are used to determine bone involvement and bone marrow biopsies are performed. Staging is the process of finding out how much the cancer is advanced . A new staging system called the international staging system for
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