Plasma cells are immune system cell and works as natural antibodies that keeps us healthy as it fights virus and disease-carrying cells. Multiple myeloma on the other hand is an abnormal condition in which these plasma cells increase and multiply fast, causing a high concentration level of proteins and develops into a malignant tumor or also known as cancer.
This condition can lead into numerous health complications, organs like kidneys, red blood cell counts, immune system and bones will be affected by the multiplying cells.
The cause of this type of cancer is actually very vague, and the multiplication of myeloma is actually not yet known. Plasma cells have a special kind of “adhesion molecules” that specifically targets the bone marrow. The multiplying cell can make up the bone marrow for up to 10%. Some studies shows that this kind of cancer can be hereditary and men are generally more susceptible to this kind of illness than women.
In the early stages of multiple myeloma, there can no symptoms that can manifest physically. This cancer is hard to detect through sight, as it can be seen only through blood tests and urine tests. In severe cases of this condition, physical symptoms may be easy to spot as is can damage the bone easily because of the cancer cells. It also cause abnormal production of proproteins and interrupt normal production of blood cells.
The most common part of the body that can be damaged by this disease is the bones. Back pain which slowly develops to other parts of the body and bones becoming brittle and prone to disintegration and fracture are common effects of multiple myeloma.
The calcium particles of the brittle bone will be passed and travel through the blood stream causing a high level of calcium in the blood leading to another complication called hypercalcaemia. This condition will then lead to recurring nausea, , constipation, excessive thirst, frequent urination, weight loss, loss of appetite, etc. which then leads to more health complications and problems.
Another part of the body that is very susceptible to this disease is the red blood cells. The cancer cell that targets the bone marrow decreases the capacity of our body to produce red blood cells, and even white blood cells and platelets. Symptoms for this complication are physically evident like skin bruises, unusual gum and nose bleeds, tiredness and lack of energy, shortness of breath, recurring respiratory infections, chest pains and infections and bladder infections.
Organ like kidney is also very susceptible to complications. As the multiple myeloma develops and calcium of the bones flows through the blood streams, complications in this organ will manifest easily.
Kidney regulates the electrolytes in our body, but with constant and drastic increase of toxins and waste products and particles in the blood, this will easily damage the kidneys. Swelling of the legs, weakness and kidney failures are some symptoms of a damaged kidney.
Thickening of the blood hypervisocity is another complication of multiple myeloma. As the calcium integrates with the blood, nose bleeds, blurry vision, numbness and recurring tingling sensation in arms and legs will occur often. Cancer cells put excessive proteins in the blood and will lead to deadlier complication like heart failure.