About Myeloma Action Month
Myeloma Action Month takes place every March to encourage individuals and groups to take actions that positively impact the myeloma community. Comprehensive Cancer Centers is proud to support this initiative by raising awareness about myeloma and what you can do to get involved.
This year the International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) invites everyone to join the myeloma community and nurture resilience. These small actions in everyone’s lives can enhance well-being, fortify resilience, and improve the lives of those in the myeloma community. This year proves especially timely for the theme of resilience, as the world continues to cope with the stress of the pandemic.
The IMF is asking those interested in spreading myeloma awareness to use the hashtag #IAMRESILIENT2021, #MyelomaWarrior, and/or #MyelomaACTIONMonth on social media channels. When using these hashtags on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, these posts will stream to the IMF’s digital “Wall of Resilience,” which can be viewed on the Myeloma Action Month website. Additionally, available on the website are signature Myeloma Action Month-branded merchandise.
What is Multiple Myeloma?
Multiple myeloma is a cancer of the bone marrow plasma cells — white blood cells that make antibodies. A cancerous or malignant plasma cell is called a myeloma cell. Myeloma is called “multiple” because there are frequently multiple patches or areas in bone where it grows. It can appear as both a tumor and/or an area of bone loss, and it affects the places where bone marrow is active in an adult: the hollow area within the bones of the spine, skull, pelvis, rib cage, and the areas around the shoulders and hips.
There are several forms of myeloma including:
- Multiple myeloma is the most common and affects multiple areas of the body.
- Plasmacytoma only presents itself in one area of the body, such as a tumor in the bone, skin, muscle, or lung.
- Localized myeloma may be found in one site but can spread to the surrounding areas.
- Extramedullary myeloma effects tissue other than the marrow, such as the skin, muscles or lungs.
It’s not always clear why some cells become myeloma cells; however, some risk factors include medical history, race, age and gender. Other risk factors are obesity and radiation or exposure to certain kinds of chemicals such as pesticides, fertilizers and for veterans, Agent Orange.
Myeloma Signs and Symptoms
In the early stages, some patients have no signs or symptoms. Some physicians refer to the acronym, CRAB, to describe symptoms:
C – Calcium elevation
R – Renal insufficiency
A – Anemia
B – Bone abnormalities
Multiple Myeloma Diagnosis & Treatment
A blood test as well as medical examination should be conducted to confirm if you have myeloma. Should the cancer be detected, staging then predicts the progression of the disease and helps the team at Comprehensive Cancer Centers determine the type of treatment plan.
Treatment outcomes are different for each patient and depend on many individual factors, but will include one or more of the following:
- Bone marrow transplant
- Clinical trial research
- Radiation therapy
- Stem cell transplantation with high-dose chemotherapy
- Supportive care
Comprehensive Cancer Centers Can Help
Physicians at Comprehensive provide a variety of treatment options for patients with myeloma in Nevada and offer groundbreaking clinical research for those who are eligible. For certain patients, clinical research studies currently being conducted at Comprehensive Cancer Centers may offer help, please click here to learn more. To schedule an appointment with the team at Comprehensive, please call 702-952-3350.
The content is this post is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.