Multiple myeloma is not as common as other solid tumors suchasbreast cancer or intestinal cancers, but an early pick up ensures a good survival as is seen with any cancer. In the early stages, the patient can survive well for up to even 45 to 60 months while the third stage survival is about 30 months.
Multiple myeloma is the state of cancerous transformation of normal plasma cells (a type of white blood cells which produce antibodies). In this disease, the plasma cells multiply abnormally within the bone marrow and release defective antibodies. These abnormal cells restrict the production of normal plasma cells, and thus limit the production of normal antibodies. They can also invade the solid bone structure and get accumulated in the bone cavity to form a tumour. When many such small tumors are formed, it is referred as multiple myeloma. A few key symptoms of multiple myeloma include bone pain, weakness, weight loss, kidney problems and frequent infections due to inactive immunoglobulins. Currently targeted drug therapy, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, use of corticosteroids and stem cell transplantation are the available options for treatment of multiple myeloma.