Multiple myeloma is a type of cancer that is caused by malignant plasma cells. Normal plasma cells produce antibodies that combat germs and other foreign materials in the body. They are an important part of the immune system. However, they become cancerous if there is excessive production of the cells.
The immune system is responsible for protecting the body by fighting infections and other forms of diseases. It is made up of several types of cells that work together to do the job. The main cell type of the immune system is the lymphocytes or lymph cells. There are several types of lymphocytes, the major ones are the T cells and B cells.
B cells, after responding to infection, will become plasma cells. Plasma cells produce antibodies called immunoglobulins to attack and exterminate the disease-causing microorganism. Though lymphocytes are found all over the body, such as the intestines, bone marrow, the lymph nodes, and the bloodstreams, plasma cells are primarily located in the bone marrow.
When plasma cells become cancerous, it will lead to the development of tumor called plasmacytoma. This type of tumor is usually found in the bone. If an individual has only a single plasma cell tumor, it is called isolated or solitary plasmacytoma, but if they have more than one plasmacytoma, it is now called multiple myeloma.
The signs and symptoms of multiple anemias are the following but not limited to:
- Anemia or Low Blood Count
An individual with multiple myeloma will have low blood count because of the overgrowth of plasma cells in the bone marrow, leading to a shortage of red blood cell production.
People with multiple myeloma will have a hard time fighting off infections. Abnormal plasma cells cannot do its job since they are overcrowded with the myeloma cells. Plasma cells could no longer produce antibodies.
- Bone Pain
Bone pain is one of the most common symptoms of multiple myeloma. The usual site is the spinal cord.
- Nerve damage
- Skin Lesions
- Enlarged tongue
- Kidney Failure
Myeloma cells produce antibodies that would attack the kidneys.
One of the preventive measures against multiple myeloma is maintaining normal body weight.
If you think you are suffering from Multiple Myeloma you should seek medical assistance. You may also be entitled to Social Security Disability Benefits. The SSA considered Multiple Myeloma as a medical condition that would make you eligible for SSDI and SSI. Social Security Administration (SSA) maintains a “Listing of Medical Impairments” (known as the blue book) that automatically qualify you for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).