Multiple myelomas refer to blood cancer, which affects one’s plasma cells. In this disease, accumulation of plasma cells in malignant form takes place in the bone marrow i.e. soft and spongy tissues present at the central part of your bones. These cells crowd out regular plasma cells, which are helpful in fighting with infections. Malignant plasma cells further produce M protein i.e. an abnormal antibody, which may cause tumors, bone destructions, impairment of immune function and other severe damages to your kidney. Presence of M protein in one’s blood is the prime feature of multiple myeloma disease. In most of the cases, multiple myeloma displays most of the activities in one’s bone marrow, which consists of marrows in the pelvic bones, spine area, hips, shoulders, and ribs.(1)
What Do Patients With Multiple Myeloma Die From?
The early mortality rate in patients suffering from multiple myeloma is about 12.6 percent. Accordingly, the following patients remain at relatively higher risk related to early mortality.
Death Due To Low Serum Albumin And Leukemia In Plasma Cells
Patients with low serum albumin, primary leukemia in plasma cells and high-correlated serum calcium remain at higher risk related to early mortality. According to the study conducted by oncologists and other health experts, about 65percent of the myeloma patients/ research participants died due to multiple myeloma and related infections.(1)
Death Due To Multiple Myeloma Complications
Along with the aforementioned aspects of the mortality rate of multiple myeloma patients, a few individuals may even die because of MM complications. These include-
Low Blood Cell Count. Low blood cell count in RBC or WBC is a prime characteristic of multiple myeloma disease and it contributes to varieties of complications, such as impairment of anemia and immune system impairment respectively. In addition, the reduction of blood platelets, also known as thrombocytopenia also results in blood clotting and increase in bleeding.
Bone Loss and Bone Damage. Multiple myelomas results in bone loss in two different ways. Firstly, multiple myeloma cells accumulate to form bone marrow masses, which may disrupt the regular structure of the nearby bone. Secondly, multiple myeloma cells secrete specific substances, which interfere with the regular process related to the growth and repair of bones. Because of weak bones, multiple myeloma patients often experience bone pain and remain at relatively higher risk related to bone fracture.
Even these patients remain at higher risk related to compression of spinal cord i.e. a medical emergency that needs prompt treatment to avoid any permanent damage.
Hypercalcemia. Bone destruction in multiple myeloma patients releases calcium in excessive amount in the bloodstream, which results in hypercalcemia. When the problem reaches to its severe form, hypercalcemia leads to cardiac arrest or coma. Because of this, it is essential for you to diagnose and treat it within time.
Peripheral Neuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy or related symptoms take place due to peripheral nerve damages. This is a common side effect in multiple myeloma patients. The complication of peripheral neuropathy varies among people. However, doctors describe it as burning, tingling, pain, less sensation, numbness, inability to pick even small objects, stumbling or tripping and sensitivity towards temperature. It initially affects one’s extremities i.e. starts in fingers or toes and later on, moves inward to wrists and ankles.
The peripheral nervous system consists of a network of various cell bodies and nerves, which do not form the part of the human central nervous system, which consists of the spinal cord and brain. Indeed, peripheral nervous system remains unprotected and often exposed to almost everything, which circulates in your blood, including M proteins and chemotherapy chemicals. Thus, exposure, in this case, interferes with nerves to prevent signaling in the right way.(1)
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