MULTIPLE MYELOMA: WHAT IS IT?

Multiple myeloma is bone marrow cancer. It has no cure as of today. It is a cancer that is born in our immune system and involves a certain type of antibody-producing cell called "plasma cell." These plasma cells at some point start going bonkers and proliferating in the bone marrow. Our immune system becomes progressively weakened as a result of its inability to produce healthy antibodies, so we are prone to infections (we are 15 times more likely to develop infections than healthy folks) etc. The symptoms of myeloma vary from patient to patient and range from bone pain to anaemia and nervous system problems.

The acronym CRAB is frequently used to classify symptomatic myeloma: C stands for Calcium (elevated), R for Renal (failure), A for anaemia and B for Bone (lesions). 

A good definition can be found on the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation website: Multiple myeloma (also known as myeloma or plasma cell myeloma) is a progressive hematologic (blood) disease. It is a cancer of the plasma cell, an important part of the immune system that produces immunoglobulins (antibodies) to help fight infection and disease. Multiple myeloma is characterized by excessive numbers of abnormal plasma cells in the bone marrow and overproduction of intact monoclonal immunoglobulin (IgG, IgA, IgD, or IgE) or Bence-Jones protein (free monoclonal kappa and lambda light chains). Hypercalcemia, anemia, renal damage, increased susceptibility to bacterial infection, and impaired production of normal immunoglobulin are common clinical manifestations of multiple myeloma. It is often also characterized by diffuse osteoporosis, usually in the pelvis, spine, ribs, and skull.

More information can be found on the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation website: http://tinyurl.com/5c4s9

Another good source of information is the International Myeloma Foundation website: http://tinyurl.com/2u4ehl

What I have read and been told is that myeloma is a "highly treatable" cancer. And based on my research and my test results, I have come to believe that the progression of this cancer can be slowed down and kept stable through certain scientifically-based alternative treatments, at least in some particular cases (MGUS and non-aggressive forms of MM). There is much that can be done in those cases.

When I got my myeloma diagnosis in late 2005, it was a wake-up call. I suppose that until then I had been in denial. My previous attitude had been: it won’t happen to me.

But it did.

6 thoughts on “MULTIPLE MYELOMA: WHAT IS IT?

  1. Jennifer

    03-01-12

    Hi Margaret,
    I went to see an oncologist just yesterday. I was told that I may have inactive myeloma; more tests have to be done. In the meantime, I will focus on my diet. Do you have any words of encouragement or suggestions at this point?

    Thanks a bunch,
    Jennifer

    Reply
  2. Margot Flynn

    Around 3 months ago my husband was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, I picked up a booklet put out by the cancer council that gives the opinion that no foods will assist protection from cancer, however, thankfully a neighbour lent us a copy of ‘the foods that fight cancer’, and I’ve read a lot about curcumin and green tea along with many other foods, and I’m astonished that there hasn’t been a class action against the cancer council for mis-informing the public about the research already done on foods and the Australian government for not outlawing trans fats being added to our foods and not being labelled.

    Reply
  3. Jackie

    I was diagnosed with SM in January 2014. In the fall of 2013 I had a UTI that needed 2 rounds of antibiotics to fix it. After starting the second round, I developed a neurological reaction and immediately stopped taking the meds. At my follow up visit with my family doc he suggested that I get a blood work up done just to make sure there was no kidney damage. That’s when the funky cells were discovered. I’m 5 mos. into the knowledge that I have CANCER. I thought nothing could scare me more than the thoughts of a bone marrow biopsy…but I was wrong the word cancer is worse. I just had my third visit with my oncologist yesterday. She told me that I can figure on starting “treatment” in about a year. It freaked me out a bit to say it mildly. I came home and did what I swore I would not do….more research….and low and behold I found your blog. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I may still need chemo but your blog is giving me hope. I have to do something, I just can’t wait for nature to take it’s course. I just got back from a local health food store. I dropped some $$$ and bought supplements to start my own protocol, Curcumin top on the list. Oh and by the way, I am not CRABby! I’m going to find me a T-Shirt and wear it proudly. I’ll keep you posted and please Margaret don’t stop blogging. You are making a difference.

    Reply
      1. Jackie

        Nicole, I ended up stopping everything in July 2015 when they put me on Revlimid and steroids. My doctors were getting me ready for the big transplant. I just couldn’t stand putting anything else into my system, even if it was good for me. I went through the stem cell transplant on 2/8/16. My numbers are lower now than they were when I was first diagnosed by in 2014, but MM is part of who I am. As far as the supplements, I haven’t started up again. So I can’t say if they made a difference in my case. The desperation I felt back in 2014 has been replaced with acceptance in some regard. I CAN’T change the fact that I have an incurable cancer , but I can change my over all mental well being. With that being said, I am not opposed to starting the vitamin protocol again. I just haven’t.

        Reply
        1. Nicole May

          I’m sorry this is happening to you…but I have spend hours and hours reading Margaret’s posts, and noticed that a lot of people are benefiting from her curcumin protocol, maybe start it again and it may keep you at bay…good luck to you Jackie

          Reply

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