6 treatment methods used for multiple myeloma

Health

Multiple myeloma is a cancerous condition that affects a form of white blood cell known as plasma. The plasma cells are instrumental in warding off infections. They do this by creating antibodies that identify and destroy any germs in the system.

This cancer causes cancer cells to amass in the bone marrow where they outnumber the healthy blood cells. Instead of the disease-fighting antibodies, these cells then produce anomalous proteins that can further trigger complications.

The treatment for multiple myeloma isn’t always needed for individuals who are asymptomatic. Although, the doctor will regularly keep an eye on the patient’s condition with the help of blood and urine tests. For patients experiencing signs and symptoms, here are the following treatment options for multiple myeloma.

Treatment for multiple myeloma

Biological therapy
The medications used in biological therapy take the help of the patient’s immune system to deal with myeloma cells. They enhance the immune system cells that recognize and kill cancer cells. Typically, these are taken in the form of pills.

Targeted therapy
In this type of multiple myeloma treatment, the medicines concentrate on specific abnormalities within the rogue cells that enable their survival. These medications then inhibit the action of the element in those myeloma cells that breaks down the proteins, causing them to die. Such therapy can be administered intravenously or via oral medications. Another targeted therapy involves monoclonal medicines that bind on to the cancerous cells, leading to their death.

Corticosteroids
Corticosteroids are given to regulate the immune system so that the inflammation in the body can be brought under control. Additionally, they also actively work against myeloma cells. These medications can be taken in the form of pills or intravenously.

Chemotherapy
This method is used to target the rapidly-growing cancer cells. This treatment is given in the pill form or administered through the vein. Chemotherapy can be used before the bone marrow transplant to reduce cancer cells and after the surgery to kill the remaining ones.

Bone marrow transplant
Also known as a stem cell transplant, in this form of surgery, the doctors will replace the patient’s diseased bone marrow with a healthy one. Before the procedure, blood-forming stem cells are gathered from the blood of the affected individual. Then the patient is treated with high doses of chemotherapy medications so that the affected bone marrow is destroyed. Later these stem cells are introduced in the body where they travel to the bones and rebuild the bone marrow.

Radiation therapy
In this multiple myeloma treatment, beams of energy such as protons and X-rays are used to destroy the myeloma cells and thwart their growth. It can be employed to quickly shrink the myeloma cells in a certain area. For example, when an accumulation of abnormal plasma cells creates a tumor that causes pain or is damaging the bone.

Multiple myeloma also causes certain medical complications, so patients might also need treatments to treat them. Other health issues could include bone pain, bone loss, kidney damage, infections (flu and pneumonia), and anemia.

Alternative solutions such as exercise, art therapy, music therapy, spirituality, and relaxation techniques can further help ease the stress of managing this condition.

NEWSLETTERS