Friday, November 11, 2011

Smoldering Myeloma, Smoldering Multiple Myeloma

If you had been complaining about myeloma symptoms and you have indeed been diagnosed with myeloma cancer, then there will be a series of tests conducted on you to figure out the gravity of the situation. Doctors will prescribe and conduct tests to understand what stage of myeloma cancer you are at and will start working towards outlining a treatment that will help curb the growth of the myeloma cells. There are four stages, the first stage is known as smoldering myeloma.

Smoldering Myeloma
This particular type of myeloma cancer is one that is slow growing. There are no myeloma caner symptoms at this stage, no bone damage, but there is presence of myeloma cells. Often this type of cancer is detected by chance through a blood test or urine test.

This type of cancer is caused due to the abnormality in certain plasma cells. Plasma cells reproduce at a fast pace when the body does not need them. They also produce a certain proteins called monoclonal protein that collects in the urine. This leads to high concentration of the protein in urine and in blood. It also leads to collection of myeloma cells in the bone marrow.

People who suffer from smoldering myeloma have a high level of protein and they also have collection of myeloma cancer cells in the bone marrow, but what they do not have is any other symptoms of myeloma cancer like bone damage or bone lesions. At this stage, unlike other people who are suffering from Smoldering Multiple Myeloma cancer, patients do not display anaemia, kidney damage, high levels of calcium in the blood and are not as susceptible to infections.

While a number of doctors suggest that patients could undertake the watchful waiting treatment at this stage, it is imperative that patients are careful as they are at a higher risk of developing multiple myeloma cancer. It may take years to reach the next step of myeloma cancer, but statistics show that one third of patients who suffer from smoldering myeloma, go onto to develop multiple myeloma cancer in less than five years.

Smoldering Myeloma Treatment
When you are diagnosed with smoldering myeloma, the doctor in charge will suggest that you do not take on any treatment right away. Watchful waiting is usually advised at this stage. Your doctor will prescribe you certain medication to curb the growth of cells, however no other treatment meant for multiple myeloma will be suggested. Cancer treatment can be very painful and delaying it with constant check-ups at this stage is advisable.

With regular check-ups through blood tests, urine tests, X-Rays and CT Scans, your doctor will keep you up to speed with the progress of your condition. If the cells show an increase, myeloma treatment like radiation therapy, induction therapy or stem cell transplant will be advised depending on the spread and location of the myeloma cancer cells.

The best way to fight this disease is to go in for regular check-ups to an oncologist who is an expert in the field.

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