The Type Of Blood Cancer

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Multiple myeloma (MM) is the second most common type of blood cancer.1 It is found in plasma cells inside the intermedullary canal of the diaphysis of a long bone.2 Plasma cells are a type of white blood cell. They function to help the body fight infections by making antibodies that recognize and attack germs. MM starts when a plasma cell becomes abnormal in the bone marrow and begins to multiple quickly. These abnormal, now cancerous cells accumulate and eventually outnumber the production of healthy cells. Like normal plasma cells, myeloma cells also produce antibodies. However, the body cannot use them. These antibodies are known as monoclonal proteins, or M proteins.3 M proteins can build up in the body and cause problems, such as…show more content…
MGUS is marked by the presence of M proteins, but there is a significantly lower level of them and no damage to the body occurs. 3% of people older than 50 have MGUS.3 1% of people with MGUS will develop MM per year.3 Signs and symptoms of MM can vary and early in the disease there may be none. When signs and symptoms do occur, they can include: bone pain, especially in your spine and chest, thinning or broken bones, nausea, constipation, loss of appetite, mental fogginess or confusion, fatigue, frequent infections, weight loss, weakness or numbness in your legs and excessive thirst.3 MM may be detected through multiple types of tests. Lab analysis of blood may reveal the M proteins produced by myeloma cells. Another abnormal protein produced from myeloma cells called beta-2-microglobulin may be detected in the blood.3 A urine protein level test may show M proteins, which are known as Bence Jones proteins, and confirm the presence of MM.2 A bone marrow biopsy may be done to determine the number of normal and cancerous plasma cells present. An initial skeletal survey is done for diagnosis and staging through diagnostic radiography. Images will include a lateral skull x-ray, AP and lateral views of the spine and AP views of the humeri, ribs, pelvis, and femora.4 MM appears as multiple punched out osteolytic lesions scattered throughout the skeletal system.2 If seen in
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