The blood contains various different types of the cells (the redblood cells, platelets and white blood cells). Multiple myeloma, also called as Kahler’s disease is acancer of plasma cells (a type of white blood cells normally responsible forthe production of antibodies). Because they are presentthroughout the bone marrow, plasma cells that have undergone malignanttransformation do so in clumps and usually at many sites, which explains theterminology multiple myeloma. Since the levels of plasma cells increase, so dothe levels of proteins in one’s bloodstream. This may cause many otherproblems, including those with one’s immune system, red blood cell count, etc.
Causes and Symptoms
The exact cause of this, as for many other types of canceris still unknown. However, several factors have been linked to the starting ofmyeloma. These include: exposure to very large doses of radiation,genetic abnormalities, certain viral infections,exposures to certain chemicals and other conditions in the workplace(such as metallurgic industry workers, leather workers, shipyard workers,etc.), immune system dysfunction,etc.
Although the severity of the symptoms may vary from personto person, the most common symptoms of this condition are: bone pain(particularly in the ribs, pelvis, or back), recurrent infections, fatigue, presenceof monoclonal proteins in one’s blood, weight loss, frequent bone fractures, andhigh levels of calcium in the blood. The high levels of calcium may, in turn,cause other symptoms, such as dehydration, nausea, constipation, loss ofappetite, excessive urination, mental confusion, etc.
It is important that a person consult a doctor as soon asthe first symptoms have presented themselves. This will increase the chances ofa successful recovery.
Themedical treatment for this condition includes various medications, such as thalidomide,corticosteroids, bortezomib, lenalidomide, etc.Also,chemotherapy may be needed, or radiation therapy, to kill the myeloma cells.
There is no particular multiple myeloma diet that is prescribed formyeloma cancer patients, as there is no evidence that a change of diet can helptreat myeloma. However, myeloma patients are advised to consume a healthy meal.This may include:Fruits and vegetables. They contain substances that canincrease myeloma cancer life expectancy by increasing overall health.Nuts, avocado, olive oil. These should be consumed inmoderate amounts, while these are high in unsaturated fats.Whole-wheat bread and cereals. They contain substancesthat might debilitate the cells that cause cancer.Food rich in calcium and vitamin D. These help strengthen thebone that has been weakened by the cancer, and vitamin D helps boost the immunesystem.
Also, it is important that myeloma patients avoid too fattyand spicy foods, because they may aggravate one’s symptoms.
There is still extensive research being carried out to findout which food has the properties that might help one fight off cancer. And,some day, a solution may be found.