Blood cancer accounts for eight per cent of all new cases of cancer diagnosed in India. Of all types of blood cancers, the three most common types that affect the Indian population are LYMPHOMA, LEUKEMIA and MULTIPLE MYELOMA.
While lymphomas and leukemia affect adults and children both, myeloma is a relatively common condition that affects adults.
Blood cancer occurs due to malignancies in the development of blood cells. Depending on the type of blood cancer, patients may have different symptoms, treatments, and prognoses.
What is multiple myeloma?
Also known as Kahler’s disease, multiple myeloma starts in the bone marrow when plasma cells (a type of blood cell) begin to grow uncontrollably. As the cells grow, they compromise the immune system and impair the production and function of white and red blood cells causing bone disease, organ damage, and anemia among other conditions.
The common warning signs are unexplained fever for more than three weeks, unexplained weight loss, swelling in the neck or abdomen, pain in the bones, severe thirst, unexplained gum bleeding or excessive bleeding.
Experts aren’t sure what causes multiple myeloma.
But you’re more likely to get it if you’re older than 65, family history, exposed to radiation, overweight or obese, or have had contact with chemicals used in rubber manufacturing, woodworking, or firefighting; or in herbicides.
State-of-the-art treatment modalities like targeted therapy, immunotherapy, and bone marrow transplantation have revolutionised the management of blood cancer and provide hope for a long-term cure in deadly diseases. Doctors grade multiple myeloma cases as high, intermediate, or standard risk, based on genes in the tumours.
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