Multiple myeloma is a very serious condition. It is the cancer of the plasma cells in the bone marrow. The human body has its natural defense system, which is called the immune system. One part of the immune system is plasma cells because they have the role to produce antibodies that fight against the foreign bodies when they enter the body, such as virus, bacteria, and many pathogens.
The abnormal plasma cells are myeloma. When the abnormal plasma cells begin to obstruct the functioning of other blood cells, such as the red blood cell, the white blood cells and platelets, multiple myeloma occurs. This type of cancer is not common and is very rare. It is believed that every 4th person in 100000 people develops it. Multiple myeloma has a very low survival rate and it is fatal in the majority of cases. Today, medicine has advanced considerably so that the life expectancy of multiple myeloma has increased in comparison to the earlier times when the patients died within several months.
Multiple myeloma survival rate
Unfortunately, every year the number of cases of this rare type of cancer is increasing. However, it can be early diagnosed due to the advanced diagnostic tools. It is considered that many people are genetically predisposed to develop this type of cancer due to certain genes that are responsible for that. On the other side, the cause for the occurrence of multiple myeloma is also exposure to the toxins and chemicals. Multiple myeloma most frequently appears in elderly people above 60 years of age. Therefore, multiple myeloma is often called the cancer of older.
The multiple myeloma survival rates are usually expressed as five-year survival rates. It is considered that on an average, the five-year survival rate of multiple myeloma is not more than 3 years if the patient is on treatment, such as chemotherapy. When a patient undergoes a bone marrow transplant, the survival rate is elevated. However, the survival rates of this type of cancer depends on several factors, such as ethnicity and gender, as well as presence of antibodies, kidney damage, multiple myeloma stage in which it is diagnosed, and the patient’s mental and physical health.
Treatment for multiple myeloma
Multiple myeloma cannot be cured; therefore, the treatment only serves to relieve the symptoms of this condition, such as pain. One of the treatments that can prolong the life of the patent is bone marrow transplant. Stem cell transplantation is one of the treatment options that may also help the patients with this type of cancer.