Multiple Myeloma

The human body carries a variety of blood cells: White blood cells help to fight infection, red blood cells carry oxygen throughout the body and platelets help the blood to clot in order to control bleeding.  Multiple myeloma is cancer that begins in a type of white blood cell called plasma cells.  Myeloma begins when a plasma cell becomes abnormal and then the abnormal cell multiplies and makes copies of itself and invades healthy tissue and bone.  The disease is termed multiple myeloma because it usually affects more than just one bone at the same time.  Multiple myeloma is usually diagnosed through a simple blood test and typically has symptoms of back pain, broken bones, a feeling of fatigue, feeling thirsty or dehydrated and reoccurring infections and fever.  For patients who are symptomatic, treatment will usually include anticancer drugs and possibly, a stem cell transplant and/or radiation.

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