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Dangers Of Multiple Myeloma

Multiple myeloma, a cancer of the plasma cell, is an incurable but treatable disease. While a myeloma diagnosis can be overwhelming, it is important to remember that there are several promising new therapies that are helping patients live longer, healthier lives. The estimated frequency of multiple myeloma is 5-6 new cases per 100,000 persons per year. Accordingly, in the USA 15,980 new cases are expected to be diagnosed in 2005. At present there are more than 50,000 people in the United States living with multiple myeloma.

Multiple myeloma is a malignant proliferation of plasma cells that involves more than 10 percent of the bone marrow. It is a prototype primary malignancy of the bone associated with malignant plasma cells that secrete monoclonal immunoglobulins into the serum, the urine or both.

Multiple myeloma is the most common primary cancer of the bones in adults. The annual incidence in the United States is three to four cases per 100,000 population. Multiple myeloma represents 1 percent of all cancers diagnosed in the United States and 10 percent of all hematologic malignancies. The median age at diagnosis of multiple myeloma is 62 years. Only 2 to 3 percent of cases are reported in patients younger than 30 years.2

The disease is called multiple myeloma because myeloma cells can occur in multiple bone marrow sites in your body. If you have multiple myeloma but aren't experiencing symptoms, your doctors may just need to monitor your condition. If you're experiencing symptoms, a variety of treatments are available.

Blacks in the United States are twice as likely to suffer from multiple myeloma as whites. In fact, multiple myeloma is the most common hematologic malignancy in the U.S. black population.3 Multiple myeloma is rare among persons of Asian descent, with an incidence of only one to two cases per 100,000 population. Standard therapy for multiple myeloma includes alkylating agents administered with prednisone. The most commonly used alkylating agent is melphalan (Alkeran). Melphalan, 9 mg per m2, is given orally with 100 mg of prednisone on days 1 through 4. Courses of therapy are repeated at four- to six-week intervals for at least one year.

Submitted by:

Daniel J.Fox

Multiple Myeloma is the most common Cancer of the Plasma Cells. More Info at http://www.eask.info.


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