Monday, February 6, 2012

Multiple Myeloma Treatment

There are four main ways of treating multiple myeloma and they include: watchful waiting, radiation therapy, induction therapy and stem cell transplant. When the cancer has been detected and various factors have been studied, depending on the stage and location of the cancer, doctors will suggest appropriate treatment for the patient.

Watchful Waiting
When the cancer is in the early stage or the smoldering stage, this treatment is usually advised. Patients can afford to delay other treatments at this stage until the symptoms of multiple myeloma cancer start to show.
While some people are not in favor of this multiple myeloma treatment, others will take it on simply because they want to delay painful cancer treatment as long as they can. However, it is important that patients are extremely careful during this stage. They should go in for regular check-ups every three months to check whether the myeloma cancer cells have spread. They also need to watch their diet and also make a number of changes to their lifestyle and may be take on some medication to curb the growth of the cells.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy is used to treat bone diseases that are extremely painful. To treat the spread of the myeloma cancer cells, radiation therapy may be used in conjunction with some other therapies. This particular multiple myeloma treatment can be very painful and the patient will require all the love and support of the family at this time. Multiple myeloma usually cannot be treated, however it can be curbed to a great extent.

Induction Therapy

Multiple myeloma treatment can take place with the help of induction therapy through a number of drugs. The method used will depend on the type, stage, location and spread of the cancer.

The different methods through induction therapy are as follows:

Chemotherapy is used to kill the cells that are growing abnormally. However, it may have side effects and they may also kill cells that are not doing any damage.

Targeted therapies are used to stop the growth of myeloma cancer cells. This particular method of multiple myeloma treatment blocks the abnormal protein which is responsible for the growth of myeloma cells.
Steroids too can be used for multiple myeloma treatment. Some steroids are known to have antitumor attributes and can kill myeloma cancer cells. They can either be used independently to treat the problem or in conjunction with other therapies.

This particular type of treatment can be taken orally or will be taken in through IV. Usually the treatment is dispensed at the outpatient ward of a hospital or at one’s home or even at one’s home with proper supervision.

There are a number of side effects that can come into play with induction therapy. People may lose hair. There will be some tingling or numbness in the hands and feet as well. Some people experience low blood pressure as well. Multiple myeloma treatment should be undertaken only after a thorough study of the condition. It is extremely important to trust only a qualified oncologist to treat multiple myeloma cancer as it is a very serious condition.

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