People Outlive Multiple Myeloma Life Expectancy Regularly

posted in: Life Expectancy | 15

Acquaintance with the ailment

Multiple myeloma is blood cancer. Cancer develops in white blood cells known as plasma cells. This unrestrained growth results in harmful proteins with abnormal structure. Bone marrow is affected and healthy cells begin to die out. Usually the kidney is affected first though any part of the body could be affectedThere is a life with multiple myeloma.[toc]

Symptoms of Multiple Myeloma

Symptoms will not be noticeable in the early stages of the disease. Response to treatment is good in majority of the patients. Here are the signs of multiple myeloma.

  • Excessive thirst
  • Easily broken bones
  • Excessive urination
  • Weight loss
  • Nausea
  • Fever
  • Frequent infections
  • Bone pain

Bone lesions brought about by weakened bones through the accumulation of plasma cells can be examined through X-rays. Low blood count is a typical symptom that leads to weakening of our immune system. Restlessness, change in urination frequency, loss of appetite and hypercalcemia confirm the presence of myeloma proteins.


Overall median survival rate when we use International Staging System is given below.

  • Stage 1 – 62 months
  • Stage 2 – 44 months
  • Stage 3 – 29 months

Improvements in the diagnosis and treatment have lent greater chances for survival though reversion should be expected.

Multiple myeloma life expectancy remains statistically rigid but in the words of a 7 years and 10 months old survivor (he was given just 3 months at the time of the diagnosis), the patient’s ability to beat the odds can be broken into two – One the hand you have been dealt and two the care you have.

Severity of the disease

Testing for disease

Myeloma in many cases is not so severe as to be crippling. It is merely a mild form of cancer that languishes and teases but does not kill. They do not manifest any symptom for as long as 6 or even 12 years. However, having indicators that are negative prognostic could make the prognosis definitely dull. FISH (fluorescence in situ hybridization) test along with related genetic tests will be needed to understand genetic abnormalities. Usual tests include the following:

  • Imaging tests
  • Bone marrow examination
  • Urine tests
  • Blood tests

Imaging tests include X-rays. Blood tests can show the proliferation of M-proteins produced by myeloma as beta-2-microglobulin. Additional clues are obtained from uric acid and calcium levels, examination of blood cell count and kidney function. Urine tests show Bence-Jones proteins, a form of M-proteins. Bone marrow is drawn from your bones with a long and thin needle for examination.

Risk category assigning

Once the testing is finished, the examining physician does an assignment. This will typify the risk and stage category for the disease. Stage 1 will indicate a less dominant form while Stage 3 indicates aggressive variation of the disease. In its aggressive form, the ailment could affect organs such as kidneys in addition to bone.

Quality of care

There is multiple myeloma scheme.Having medical insurance in the form of Medicare of Medicaid helps overcome financial constraints. For those who do not have this, Affordable Care Act is an option. Gather a support network of friends and colleagues around you. Learn all methods needed to help you make decisions for every stage of the treatment. Space your schedule so that you have enough time and your schedule is not too rigorous.

Treatment methods used 

Treatment for this affliction is usually one or all of the given methods.

  • Chemotherapy
  • Plasmapheresis
  • Stem cell transplant
  • Radiation

In normal course of treating with stem cell transplant, chemotherapy forms the first step. This is because chemotherapy destroys fast growing cells, which include myeloma cells. This is administered in pill form or as an injection in your arm.

A combination of biological drugs and corticosteroids are deployed. The former uses immune system to fight by augmenting cells of the immune system and killing cancer cells. Common drugs include lenalidomide and thalidomide. Regulation of the immune system is done through corticosteroids such as dexamethasone and prednisone.

Radiation therapy is used when the patient develops an agglomeration of myeloma cells in a particular region in the form of lumps or tumor on the bone. Energy beams such as X-rays will focus on these collections of cells and destroy them immediately. In stem cell transplantation, your bone marrow that is ridden with myeloma cells will be removed and then replaced by healthy bone marrow.

There is every chance of recurrence of this cancer. Full recovery though known is extremely rare. Relapse occurs within months of giving treatment.

Never give up

National Cancer Institute publishes the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results data. The data for multiple myeloma puts life expectancy at four years. This has been the case for the last three years. However, often patients survive these odds and last for 10 or even 20 years. The statistical survival rate for five year periods beginning from 1975 (26%) to 2006 (45%) show remarkable improvement.

15 Responses

  1. My sister developed myeloma when she was 22 years old. She hung on valiantly. She passed on last summer.

  2. Living with cancer is horrible. I recall the good days when I could walk without a care in the world. However, I have hung on for more than a year now…guess half of it is the fighting, the never giving up.

  3. After hearing about multiple myeloma from my friend Ginger, I got scared, especially when I began to experience pain in the bones. I rushed to the clinic for a checkup but it turned out to be plain fatigue and nothing more.

  4. I read all the news about myeloma. Where can I find drugs for esophageal cancer? Please help.

  5. Administration

    Please try this link. You will get more information.
    Common drugs are Ramucirumab, Docetaxel and Trastuzumab. Hope it helps.

  6. I came looking for something to write for my school homework. The article is so interesting and shows lots of promise in the field of medicine. Great article.

  7. Gerald

    Terrible disease. I hope someone finds a cure soon.

  8. Gregory

    Great to read about all this. Do we feel pain in this case?

  9. John McCormack

    If the disease is mild we do not see any sign or feel any pain.

  10. Sadika

    I feel very sad that people get this disease. How can we prevent it?

  11. John McCormack

    Though there is some talk about having found a cure for cancer, we are yet to know how this begins. Until we find all the causes, we cannot predict how we may prevent it.

  12. Sadika

    Oh, thank you.

  13. So sad to hear of this. Do you think we will find a cure at all?

  14. John McCormack

    Scientists are working on finding a cure with stem cells. But it might take time before we can say for sure.

  15. Yes we have to wait.

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