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Lisa Ray and Multiple Myeloma

Mar 21, 2023

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What is Multiple Myeloma? 

What are the symptoms of Multiple Myeloma?

What is the cause of Multiple Myeloma?

Genetic mutations

Inflammatory diseases or conditions

Environmental factors

Obesity

Diagnosis of Multiple Myeloma

Complete Blood Count (CBC)

Blood Chemistry Test

Quantitative Immunoglobulin Test

Electrophoresis

Urine Tests

X-rays

Computed Tomography (CT) Scan

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Positron Emission Tomography (PET)

Bone Marrow Biopsies

What are the treatment methods for multiple myeloma?

Lisa Ray and multiple myeloma

“I never anticipated that being diagnosed with multiple myeloma, which is essentially considered a fatal disease, would give me a new lease on life. That's the irony”, recalls Lisa Ray, famous Bollywood actress who was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, an often fatal and rare form of cancer.  

And sure enough, it changed her life. She battled cancer and won, wrote a book, and lived a healthy and peaceful lifestyle. But as doctors, our job is to understand the disease itself. 

Let’s learn more about this rare cancer in detail - including its symptoms, causes, diagnosis and treatment for your NEET SS preparation

What is Multiple Myeloma? 

Multiple myeloma is a rare form of blood cancer that affects the plasma cells of the body - the white blood cells that are part of the immune system of the body. When Multiple Myeloma occurs, it causes the body to turn healthy cells into abnormal cells which multiply and create abnormal antibodies called M proteins. 

This in turn can affect a person’s bones, kidneys and the body’s ability to make healthy white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets. 

In many cases, if the patient is showing symptoms that might develop into Multiple Myeloma in the future, the recommended action is watchful waiting and monitoring of overall health. Even though it's not possible to completely cure Multiple Myeloma, its related conditions and symptoms can be treated. 

Let's go through the symptoms of Multiple Myeloma.

Also read: Struggling to balance PG Residency and Neet SS preparation? Read this.

What are the symptoms of Multiple Myeloma?

  • Most often the first symptom that patients notice is bone pain. Apart from this, Multiple Myeloma causes many symptoms that include the following:
  • A sensation of numbness and/or weakness in the arms and legs. 
  • Multiple Myeloma can cause the bones in the spine to collapse and press against the spinal cord. 
  • Showing signs of anemia - when the body feels so weak that one is unable to manage daily activities. 
  • Signs of hypercalcemia - nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite and feeling thirstier than usual. 
  • Sudden, unexplained weight loss. 
  • Sudden, unexplained fever. 
  • Bruising or bleeding more easily than before. This might be an effect of abnormal plasma cells affecting the body’s ability to produce platelets. 
  • Feeling foggy and confused. 

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What is the cause of Multiple Myeloma?

As of now there is no clear answer as to what causes Multiple Myeloma. However, there are possible or potential causes including the following:

Genetic mutations 

Researchers have observed that people suffering from Multiple Myeloma lack certain pieces of a particular chromosome. They are also investigating links between mutating or changing oncogenes (cells that promote growth) and Multiple Myeloma. 

Inflammatory diseases or conditions

Conditions such as heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis might be potential causal factors for Multiple Myeloma. 

Environmental factors 

Exposure to radiation or chemicals in pesticides and herbicides among others. 

Obesity 

High levels of body fat. 

As you can see, these are only potential factors that can result in the formation of Multiple Myeloma. Next, let us look at the diagnosis of Multiple Myeloma. 

Also read: Medical News Bulletin Edition 10

Diagnosis of Multiple Myeloma

The following are some of the tests that doctors need to perform to diagnose a Multiple Myeloma patient. These tests also let us understand whether the disease is at an early stage or has advanced into the later stages. 

Complete Blood Count (CBC) 

The purpose of this test is to measure the amount of red and white blood cell numbers, the amount of hemoglobin in the red blood cells and the red blood cell concentration level of the patient. 

Blood Chemistry Test

This is a test to determine the creatine levels of the patient, albumin levels, calcium levels and lactic dehydrogenase levels (LDH). 

Quantitative Immunoglobulin Test

This is a test to measure the level of antibodies in the blood. 

Electrophoresis 

This is a test to look for M proteins in the blood. 

Urine Tests 

This test looks for the Bence Jones protein which is a sign of Multiple Myeloma. 

X-rays 

This can reveal bones damaged by Multiple Myeloma

Computed Tomography (CT) Scan

This is another method to look for bone damage. 

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

This test can reveal plasmacytomas which are single groups of abnormal plasma cells. 

Positron Emission Tomography (PET) 

This is another test to reveal plasmacytomas.

Bone Marrow Biopsies

This test can reveal the percentage of normal and abnormal plasma cells in the bone marrow. Bone marrow samples might also be collected to observe changes to the DNA that may lead to cancer growth. 

Also read: Selecting a branch for SS and residency subject.

Finally, let’s go over the treatment for Multiple Myeloma. 

What are the treatment methods for multiple myeloma?

The following are the treatment methods one can use on patients who develop symptoms of Multiple Myeloma:

Pain medications - Often patients complain of severe bone pain and this can help with that.

Antibiotics - Multiple Myeloma can result in a weakened immune system and this can lead to more infections in the future. Antibiotics are necessary to clear up these infections. 

Steroids - High doses of steroids can be used to kill cancer cells and reduce inflammation. 

Chemotherapy - This can reduce the number of abnormal plasma cells. 

Immunotherapy - This treatment stimulates the immune system so that it develops more cells that can fight the cancer cells. 

Radiation therapy - This treatment kills cancer cells and reduces bone tumors. 

Stem cell transplants - Stem cells exist in the bone marrow or blood that are capable of producing new healthy plasma cells. 

Also check out the following articles:

Also check out the following articles:  
Hrithik Roshan and Chronic Subdural HaematomaAll About Amitabh Bachan’s Incurable Illness - Myasthenia Gravis
Salman Khan’s Serious Health Issue: Trigeminal NeuralgiaAll About Selena Gomez’s Chronic Illness- Lupus
Venus Williams and Sjogren’s Syndome.

And that is everything you need to know about Multiple Myeloma. 

Before we conclude, have you heard about beloved Indian actress Sonali Bendre’s fight with Metastatic Cancer? If not, click on the link and read all about Sonali Bendre and Metastatic Cancer

Keep following our blog for more interesting blogs like Lisa Ray and Multiple Myeloma, preparation tips, exam strategies and more. 

For more updates and the latest news about the NEET SS exam, follow our Telegram channels for NEET SS Medicine, NEET SS Surgery and NEET SS Pediatrics

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Auther Details

Arindam Goswami

Arindam is a Content Marketer who looks after the Medical Super Specialty segment, specifically the NEET SS category, at PrepLadder. He aims to help aspirants crack exams and realize their dreams through his work.

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