How Does Multiple Myeloma Affect the Bones?

Multiple Myeloma Marlton, NJ

Multiple myeloma is a rare form of cancer that affects the blood’s plasma cells. Plasma cells (not to be confused with liquid blood plasma) are a type of white blood cell that secretes antibodies. Their function makes them an integral part of the body’s defense mechanism.

When cancer affects parts of the body’s defense, the effects can change a person’s quality of life. Some of those changes affect the bones.

Understanding multiple myeloma

Research is yet to come up with a singular cause for the plasma cell mutations that translate to multiple myeloma. What is certain is that one abnormal plasma cell stays alive longer than it should. The cell multiplies and causes a buildup in the bone marrow, the structure that produces blood cells.

This large number of abnormal cells takes up space in the bone marrow, slowing the production of other kinds of blood cells. Now, remember the job of healthy plasma cells is to produce antibodies if the body needs to be defended. Abnormal plasma cells produce abnormal, unusable antibodies that only clog the system while straining the kidneys.

The effects of multiple myeloma range from mild, to moderate to debilitating. They are:

  • Weakness, fatigue, and or/ a loss of alertness
  • A weak immune system that presents as frequent infections
  • Digestive problems like constipation, along with loss of appetite
  • Constant thirst and/or nausea
  • Pain in the bones of the spine, hips, and chest

It is worth noting that this illness often affects older males. 

The last symptom on the list above has to do with bone tissue. Here is the effect of multiple myeloma on the bones:

The effect of multiple myeloma on the bones

Abnormal plasma cells start by affecting the bone marrow. From there, the bone tissue is the first to feel the effects of these cancerous cells. 

The very first bones to feel the effects of the cancer are the ones with the most bone marrow activity. These are the ribs, vertebrae, and pelvic bones. Here are the different ways that this cancer affects the structure and overall health of the bones:

1. Bone lesions

Malfunctioning plasma cells produce malfunctioning antibodies that may attack the body. Between overwhelming the bone marrow and producing flawed antibodies, cancerous plasma cells damage bone. The result is bone lesions and, in some cases, tumors.

Doctors will often treat the lesions with radiology and other non-surgical interventions. They will also craft a pain relief regimen to keep the patient comfortable.

2. Loss of bone mass

This is the second effect of bone marrow that is under attack. Bone tissues will fail to replace the minerals it loses to normal bodily functions like resorption.

Doctors counter this effect by prescribing supplements and therapies that provide helper minerals like phosphorus. This approach stimulates the absorption of calcium and eventually, bone regrowth.

Reach out today

Our practice boasts a team with vast experience in the treatment and management of multiple myeloma. We provide monitoring, first-line care, and treatment therapies for patients living with this rare form of cancer. 

Get in touch with us to find out how we can provide support and improve your quality of life.

Here’s how to reach us…

Request an appointment here: https://lindenbergcancer.com or call Lindenberg Cancer & Hematology Center at (856) 475-0876 for an appointment in our Marlton office.

Check out what others are saying about our services on Yelp: Multiple Myeloma in Marlton, NJ.

Recent Posts

What Is Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia?

Acute lymphocytic leukemia is a type of bone marrow cancer. This serious type of cancer needs a thorough assessment and proper treatment. Understanding this condition may help you prepare for your treatment sessions. Continue reading to learn more about acute lymphocytic leukemia and how it is treated.The marrow is the delicate tissue in the bones.…

Recommended Cancer Screening And Testing

A cancer screening can be completed before the person shows any signs of having cancer. Such screenings may be necessary when certain cancers run in the family or when the person is in a high-risk group. These screenings can detect certain cancers before any symptoms show up, so if cancer is identified, it can be…

A Lymph Node Biopsy Helps When Making A Lymphoma Diagnosis

A lymph node biopsy provides critical information to a physician and patient regarding the detection of cancer cells within the lymph nodes. If cancer cells are present, a lymphoma diagnosis is a possibility. While cancer cells are not always present, the doctor will perform a biopsy to know for sure.A biopsy provides information about whether…

Family Counseling For Cancer Victims

You probably know someone who has cancer or who has battled this disease at some point. You may even have a beloved family member who struggled with the condition and passed away. This can be a painful situation to deal with, and you may not be able to cope with the emptiness and sorrow you…

Recent Posts

What Is Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia?

What Is Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia?

Acute lymphocytic leukemia is a type of bone marrow cancer. This serious type of cancer needs a thorough assessment and proper treatment. Understanding this condition may help you prepare for your treatment sessions. Continue reading to learn more about acute lymphocytic leukemia and how it is treated.The marrow is the delicate tissue in the bones.…

Recommended Cancer Screening And Testing

Recommended Cancer Screening And Testing

A cancer screening can be completed before the person shows any signs of having cancer. Such screenings may be necessary when certain cancers run in the family or when the person is in a high-risk group. These screenings can detect certain cancers before any symptoms show up, so if cancer is identified, it can be…