Preventing the multiple myeloma is very difficult as the exact cause for the development of this condition is not known. Managing risk factors may help in reducing the risk of multiple myeloma.
Can You Prevent Multiple Myeloma?
Although there is no sure shot for the prevention of myeloma as this condition is caused due to the mutation in the genes. Further, the cause of this gene mutation is not known to make it more difficult to prevent the disease from occurring. (1)
The prevention of the disease is achieved by reducing the occurrence of risk factors. However, all the risk factors related to the disease are not under control. For instance, age is an important risk factor for multiple myeloma as it often occurs in people over 60 years of age. There is no control over this risk factor. Same is the case with ethnicity and skin color. There are certainly other factors that can be controlled. The exposure to certain harmful chemicals such as pesticides can be avoided. Further, the occupation can be shifted from petroleum or mining industry to reduce the risk of multiple myeloma.
Dietary recommendation and a healthy lifestyle may also reduce the risk of developing multiple myeloma. More exercise and managing obesity are also important for reducing the risk of multiple myeloma.
Myeloma cancer vaccines are under extensive research and when they reach the shelves of the pharmacy, there would be significant prevention from this disease.
Multiple Myeloma Complications
If the multiple myeloma is not diagnosed at an early stage of the treatment is nor initiated as early as possible it may lead to serious complications. Further, delayed treatment may lead to the poor prognosis of multiple myeloma. Following are the complications of multiple myeloma-
Renal Insufficiency– Alterations in the level of various chemicals leading to the renal insufficiency. Protein M and increased calcium levels due to bone resorption increase the incidences of renal problems.
Hematological Complications– Various hematological complications such as bleeding disorders, anemia and bone marrow suppression occurs as a complication of multiple myeloma. Further, it also increases the risk of infection.
Bone Complications– Pathological fractures and spinal cord compression are the major bone-related complications of multiple myeloma.
Neurological Complications– Neurological complications also occur in such patients includes leptomeningeal involvement, intracranial plasmacytomas, and nerve root compression.
Multiple Myeloma Symptoms
Multiple myeloma, in its early stages, does not show any symptoms. The condition is diagnosed when the patient undergoes a routine examination or taking consultation for any other disease. Various symptoms that are experienced by the patient of multiple myeloma are-
Bone Disorders– The malignant plasma cells aggregate in the bone marrow and make the bone weak. Further, they increase the activity of osteoclast cells, which are responsible for bone resorption. Further, the malignant plasma cells take up most part of the bone marrow thus reducing the bone mineral density. This leads to pain in the bones as well as an increased risk of fracture. Moderate to severe pain in the bones may indicate a hairline fracture or severe fracture.
Infections– Multiple myeloma affects the plasma cells of the blood which are the defense cells of the body. This reduces the immune system of the patients and thus, poses the risk of opportunistic infections. Infection and fever are other common symptoms of multiple myeloma.
Weakness– As the cancerous cells are quickly dividing cells, thus the energy is directed for the growth of these cells leading to the other parts of the body at energy deficient state. Further, the immune system also fights against these cells causing further weakness and fatigue in the body.
Constipation– Patients with multiple myeloma experiences various gastrointestinal symptoms such as constipation.
Exercise, healthy diet, healthy lifestyle and management of obesity are some of the measures which may reduce the risk of multiple myeloma. Further, the vaccine for this condition is also under research.