What Makes You Have Cancer?

2020 Words9 Pages
“You have cancer” are three words that no one wants to hear. In an instant, someone’s life was changed forever. Multiple myeloma is one of those scary forms of cancer. It is defined as a type of cancer that affects a certain kind of white blood cells called plasma cells (Multiple Myeloma Pamphlet 4). It may seem scary, but fortunately, there are many different kinds of treatment to either treat the disease itself, or to treat the symptoms. Some of the symptoms can be minor, but there are also some major symptoms that can lead to serious problems. Before a doctor can treat a patient with any kind of medications or remedies, he must perform many tests to assure an accurate diagnosis. He would go through the patient 's medical history and…show more content…
In recent years there have been more cases of multiple myeloma in younger people, but most cases involve people over the age of 40 (Multiple Myeloma World 5). The first thing a doctor would do to evaluate a patient is to review his or her family medical history. They would ask if anyone in his or her family had been diagnosed with multiple myeloma or any kind of cancer (Multiple Myeloma Pamphlet 19). The doctor would also ask some questions about the patient’s exposure to certain chemicals or substances because exposure to toxic chemicals, atomic radiation, or anything that affects the immune system puts the patient at a higher risk of getting this particular type of cancer (Durie 5). Most doctors use the “CRAB Criteria” to identify which, if any, symptoms of multiple myeloma a patient exhibits. The C stands for Increase in Blood Calcium, the R stands for Renal Problems (kidneys), the A stands for Anemia, and the B stands for Bone Damage (Durie 6).
If a doctor suspects that a person has multiple myeloma, the doctor would order testing that falls into four categories: Bone Marrow Biopsy, Blood Testing, Urine Testing, and Bone Testing. A bone marrow biopsy is when a doctor inserts a long, thin needle into the patient and then withdraws some of the bone marrow (Multiple Myeloma World 13). There are many ways to test a person’s bones including an X-ray, an MRI, a CT Scan, a Nuclear Medicine Scan, a PET Scan, or, if needed, bone
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