Myeloma Treatments by Symptom
Myeloma treatments will vary based on a patient’s symptoms. The four most common multiple myeloma symptoms are bone lesions, kidney failure, low anemia, and elevated calcium levels.These symptoms, along with their treatment options, are described below:
Bone deterioration from bone lesions is very common in multiple myeloma patients, with 85% of diagnosed patients experiencing some degree of bone loss. Treatment options to help slow bone loss include bisphosphonates or orthopedic interventions.
Anemia is described as a decrease in the amount of red blood cells. Supplements (such as iron, folate, or vitamin B-12), medications (such as Procrit or Epogen Aranesp), or transfusions may be recommend for patients with significant red blood cell loss.
Low white blood cell count from myeloma may result in a viral or bacterial infection. Myeloma patients should therefore be vaccinated for the flu or other viruses. Colony stimulating factors will also be prescribed to help patients restore infection-fighting white blood cells.
The M protein secreted by multiple myeloma cells inhibit the kidney’s ability to filter the blood. This causes kidney damage and can lead to kidney failure. Myeloma patients can prevent kidney failure by drinking lots of fluids and avoiding non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Plasmapheresis or dialysis may also be conducted to treat severe kidney problems.
For more information on the various myeloma treatments and symptoms, consult with a physician.