The word cancer makes many a lives worry. From the vast orbit of its types and diseases, we will learn about smoldering myeloma, in this article.
Cancer has its roots spread wide, that makes it more than just one disease. The body starts going through gradual changes because of the underlying effect of cancerous tumors. To begin with, let us first understand smoldering myeloma. The word ‘smoldering’ means something that is progressing slowly and with suppressed speed. Whereas ‘myeloma’ is a scientific term for a malignant tumor that is formed by the cells of the bone marrow.
Multiple myeloma is a cancer that makes the antibodies producing cells in the body grow in an invasive and uncontrolled pattern. It can be defined as a slowly growing type of blood cancer, that involves a slowly progressing multiple myeloma. It is the most common type of blood cancer. In this disease, the abnormal plasma cells (basically a type of white blood cell) in the bone marrow produce excess amounts of a specific protein which is a monoclonal antibody in the blood. It is also called Kahler’s disease or plasma cell myeloma.
This condition can be described as the slow growing blood cancer. In this case, certain abnormal white cells produce excess of a protein called monoclonal protein in the blood and urine. As a result, the levels of monoclonal protein in the blood and the number of myeloma cells in the bone marrow is increased. Most cases for multiple myeloma may not have symptoms during diagnosis, this condition is termed as smoldering myeloma. It can be described as the initial or earliest stage or precursor to multiple myeloma. It can also be termed as an asymptomatic (without symptoms) stage, that has a very slow growth or progress towards multiple myeloma.
Symptoms in most cases are negligible. Except for more amounts of myeloma protein, no other symptoms like bone lesions, low red blood cell count, high calcium levels, or kidney problems are present, like in most of the people suffering from multiple myeloma . As the name suggests, this may not have symptoms as it shows very meager changes in the cells due to slow growth. However, in some cases, mild anemia or bone lesions may be experienced.
Diagnosis and Treatment
The diagnosis can be possible mainly during blood tests. A urine test may also show the high amount of protein. This condition can go suppressed without any symptoms of progressing to multiple myeloma, for years also. These patients need close and timely monitoring with tests that can trace the increase in protein or low blood cell count, that may determine the progress of the cancer. The body does not alarm for immediate treatment due to the reason of slow paced growth of cancer. But any visible progress observed will indicate the need for treatment.
Every case of this cancer is different from each other, and hence the treatment may be different in each case. Until the disease progresses to multiple myeloma, no specific treatment is required. The doctor may advice certain treatments to reduce the pain and tackle other health issues. In case of growth of smoldering myeloma close to multiple myeloma, treatments like chemotherapy, radiation, and / or oral prescriptions may be prescribed. Medicines will mainly target suppressing cancerous cell production, or destroy the present cancerous cells. Certain cases may also be prescribed with stem cell transplantation with chemotherapy, to replace the infected plasma cells.
The prognosis reflects that it may take years to progress to multiple myeloma, and with proper treatment, this can be delayed even further. It is observed that most cases of eventually progress into multiple myeloma. This disease cannot be reversed, however, the treatment can delay its effects and growth.
Along with medical treatment, it is vital to follow a healthy lifestyle. Exercising will give stronger bones and also develop immunity. Consult your doctor for proper exercising and workouts. Since the amount of a certain protein is high, it is best to flush out these proteins from your body. Drinking plenty of water is one of the best ways to do so.
Smoldering myeloma is an initial stage to a complicated disease. So take proper care and treatment, and follow a healthy lifestyle, to fight the cancer crabs with strength and vigor.