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What Is Multiple Myeloma and Where Can I Find Help?
What Is Multiple Myeloma and Where Can I Find Help? image
What Is Multiple Myeloma and Where Can I Find Help?
Posted Mar 02, 2021

March is Multiple Myeloma Awareness Month and there is significant help and support available for myeloma patients.

What is Multiple Myeloma?

Multiple myeloma is a blood cancer of plasma cells, a type of white blood cell that normally fights infections. Myeloma occurs when one of these early B cells becomes genetically mutated and then replicates quickly, crowding out normal cells. Because these myeloma cells multiply at a faster rate than normal cells and don't die when they should, one antibody will grow out of control and eventually crowd out other plasma cells.  

If not treated, the myeloma cells can:

  1. crowd out functioning white cells, and the immune system can’t guard against infection effectively
  2. secrete high levels of protein in the blood and urine, which can lead to kidney damage
  3. build up in bone, causing it to weaken, which can lead to bone pain and fractures

Common Symptoms of Multiple Myeloma

  1. Bone problems or bone breakages from a minor stress or injury
  2. Low blood counts which can cause anemia
  3. High blood calcium can cause frequent thirst, the need to drink a lot of fluids, and frequent urination. It can also cause dehydration and even kidney failure. High calcium can also cause severe constipation and loss of appetite.
  4. Bone destruction can cause weakness in the spine. If bones collapse, they can cause severe pain, numbness, and/or muscle weakness.
  5. Kidney problems caused by the myeloma protein
  6. Frequent infections. Myeloma patients are about 15 times more likely to get infections and may stay sick for longer period of time. Pneumonia is a common and serious infection.

Where To Find Myeloma Help

You can find help to navigate your multiple myeloma with support from the Myeloma Crowd by HealthTree. This includes help through a variety of ways and programs: 

What is Multiple Myeloma? (On HealthTree University)

Call Us

If you need help navigating your multiple myeloma, please call us at 1-800-709-1113. We have a team of Patient Navigators that can answer your questions and direct you to the correct resources. 

 

 

The author Jennifer Ahlstrom

about the author
Jennifer Ahlstrom

Myeloma survivor, patient advocate, wife, mom of 6. Believer that patients can help accelerate a cure by weighing in and participating in clinical research. Founder of Myeloma Crowd by HealthTree and the HealthTree Foundation.

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