Overall well-being is the most significant aspect of determining the suitability to go through a multiple myeloma treatment. If a patient has some other medical circumstances, the patient may be too weak to experience a standard treatment or even any treatment other than palliative measures. Patients at the age of 70 and over are generally getting a less intensive multiple myeloma treatment, whereas younger patients get an intensive one if their health endures it.
Several sessions in the period of few months
As chemotherapy and targeted therapy are major gears in struggling with multiple myeloma, there is no detailed preparation. Your oncologist should be informed about your medical history and medications so as to select a precise set of medications in your multiple myeloma treatment. In addition, it is recommended to exercise and have a healthy diet to keep your body healthy and ready to fight with your blood cancer.
Multiple myeloma treatment generally relies upon:
• Chemotherapy treatment – a combination of strong drugs is presented to the patient's body over the bloodstream or as a pill.
• Targeted treatment for multiple myeloma – there are some medications that act on plasma cells directly and results in less damage to other body cells.
• Steroids – helps the chemotherapy to destroy the non-functioning plasma cells more successfully.
• Stem cell transplant – works to refill the plasma cells after the chemotherapy treatment is ended. It can be autologous stem cell transplant or taken from your close relatives, for instance, siblings.
Once the initial stage of multiple myeloma treatment is ended, patients generally spend months or even years without myeloma reoccurrence. Nevertheless, in the end, the illness will return, and a new treatment will need to be performed, generally including lenalidomide.
After the first treatment of multiple myeloma, symptoms will stop to be seen for a couple of months or even years. On the other hand, in this period, the patients should adapt to live with some long-lasting side effects of chemotherapy.
Multiple myeloma treatment risks involve:
• Lung issues
• Damage to other organs, for instance, kidneys and heart
• Nerve damage
• Lenalidomide may, in extreme cases, result in a secondary cancer
Chemotherapy for the treatment of multiple myeloma may additionally lead to some non-life-threatening side effects, for instance, appetite disruptions, issues with memory and concentration, an over-all feeling of weakness, and tiredness. The precise set of chemotherapy side effects relies upon the patient.
The life expectancy of normal multiple myeloma is pretty high as opposed to other kinds of cancer. Up to 77% of people with multiple myeloma live for more than a year, 47% more than five years, and 33% - more than ten years, which is a pretty decent outcome. In addition, the survival rate of multiple myeloma increases as the improvement of novel generations of targeted therapies.
What is the Difference between Multiple Myeloma and Plasmacytoma?
Plasmacytoma does not spread to other bone marrow locations while multiple myeloma does. That's why multiple myeloma is a more serious medical condition.
Is there a Connection between MGUS and Multiple Myeloma?
MGUS (Monoclonal Gammopathy of Undetermined Significance) is a medical condition in which an abnormal protein. M is present in the patient's body without causing any harm. In multiple myeloma, the presence of abnormal plasma cells producing M protein causes damage to the patient's body. In 1% of patients with MGUS, this disease will turn into multiple myeloma or other cancer.
Is Treatment for Multiple Myeloma Effective?
Although multiple myeloma does not heal completely, treatment benefits to significantly prolong the lives of patients – 1/3 of patients with multiple myeloma live longer than 10 years which is a remarkable outcome.
This content is written and reviewed by our medical content team in September, 2019.