What you need to know about the types and stages of myeloma
Myeloma is a type of cancer in which antibody-producing plasma cells grow uncontrollably. These antibodies are proteins called immunoglobulins, which protect against infections. Myelomas are characterized by an abnormal immunoglobulin called monoclonal protein, or M protein detected in the blood and urine. Good myeloma information along with timely diagnosis helps in deciding the course of treatment.
The first factor of knowing myeloma information is to be aware of the different types of this cancer:
- Smoldering myeloma: This is the early stage of the disease, which is diagnosed during routine blood and urine tests. It is asymptomatic. No treatment is required, but regular follow-up is highly recommended.
According to available myeloma information, the other types of myeloma are symptomatic.
- Multiple myeloma: Active myeloma is caused by an increased number of plasma cells in the bone marrow at multiple sites. It manifests as bone pain and fractures, tiredness and exhaustion, bruises and the appearance of M proteins in urine.
- Plasmacytoma: The cancerous cells collect in a single bone or organ and form a tumor.
- Light chain myeloma: This produces an incomplete immunoglobulin of light chains only.
There are certain types of myeloma that are quite rare:
- IgD multiple myeloma: This is usually seen in the younger age group.
- IgE multiple myeloma: A lot of online sources with myeloma information reveal that this is an aggressive variant of myeloma, which spreads quickly outside the bone marrow.
In all these different variants, myeloma attacks the body in four stages. Having myeloma Accurate myeloma information, specifically related to the stage, helps to determine the extent of the disease and of the response to the treatment. The following are the stages of myeloma:
- Stage 1: Mild anemia – The calcium levels in the blood are normal, and the bone X-rays show normal results. Only small amount of M protein is found in the blood and urine.
- Stage 2: Anemia – A single area of bone damage along with significant amount of M proteins is observed.
- Stage 3: Bone damage – Severe anemia, high blood calcium levels, multiple areas of bone destroyed by cancer and a large amount of M proteins in blood and urine are the symptoms of this stage.
- Kidney problems
In case, symptoms like tiredness, shortness of breath and bone pain persist for more than three months, visit your doctor. Early diagnosis and treatment can help to control the symptoms sooner.