- Holistic treatments can assist you in managing the side effects from myeloma treatment and myeloma itself
- Treatment for multiple myeloma may not be required if you do not show any symptoms
- Whether you are qualified for stem cell transplant will determine the combination of treatments you will be given
Alternative medicines for the treatment of multiple myeloma have not been discovered. However, they can assist you in managing the side effects from myeloma treatment and myeloma itself.
You should consult your doctor on the following options:
To ensure these techniques do not cause any other problems to you, consult your doctor first.
Causes of Multiple Myeloma
It is thought that alterations in genes lead to the development of multiple myeloma, although what exactly causes multiple myeloma is unknown thus far. The following factors may increase the chances of developing multiple myeloma:
- Being 65 years and above
- Being male
- Being black
- History in the family of MGUS or multiple myeloma
- Individuals undergoing hormone replacement therapy or corticosteroids
- A history of auto-immune infections
If you have symptoms of multiple myeloma, treatment can stabilize your illness and slow its progress, relieve pain and control any problems from the condition.
Treatment may, however, not be required if you do not show any symptoms. You will, however, have regular checkups to observe if the illness is progressing. Blood and urine tests may be part of these checkups.
Treatment may be started if you start experiencing signs and symptoms of multiple myeloma.
Options for Regular Treatment
1. Targeted therapy - This emphasizes particular abnormalities in cancer cells that allow them to live. The targeted medicines that stop the functionality of a substance in myeloma cells that breaks down proteins are bortezomib and Carfilzomib. Myeloma cells die due to the effects of these medicines.
2. Biological therapy - This medication makes use of the immune system to fight back myeloma cells. Lenalidomide, thalidomide and pomalidomide are medications that improve the normal functions of the immune system cells that discover and fight cancer.
3. Chemotherapy - This helps in eradicating cells that form rapidly, such as myeloma cells.
4. Corticosteroids - These medications stabilize the immune system to regulate body inflammation.
5. Stem cell transplant - This is an operation to replace infected bone marrow with healthy bone marrow.
6. Radiation therapy - X-rays and other beams of energy are applied in this kind of treatment method, which helps destroy myeloma cells and eradicate their growth.
Criteria for Treatment
Whether you are qualified for stem cell transplant will determine the combination of treatments you will be given. This is determined by your age, the risk of your condition progressing and your health in general.
The first treatment will mostly be a mixture of treatments like biological therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy and corticosteroids if you qualify for stem cell transplant.
The stem cells will most likely be collected after you have gone through treatment for several months. Immediately after your stem cells are collected, you may go through the stem cell transplant or it may be deferred until a relapse passes. Some multiple myeloma patients may undergo two stem cell transplants.
You will be given biological or targeted therapy to ensure myeloma does not recur after you have undergone the stem cell transplant. Chemotherapy together with corticosteroids, biological and targeted therapy is the first therapy you will receive if you do not qualify for the transplant.
Older individuals may undergo a mini stem cell transplant that requires small doses of chemotherapy.