If you don’t experience any multiple myeloma symptoms, your oncologist may prefer to monitor your condition closely instead of starting you on a treatment immediately.
If you experience symptoms, however, your oncologist will create a treatment protocol based on your particular circumstances. The goal of most multiple myeloma treatments is relieving symptoms and keeping patients well-nourished. Individuals who are at a heightened risk may also consider participating in a clinical trial. Research into the treatment of multiple myeloma is continuing to devise more effective therapies.
Drugs for Multiple Myeloma
Oncologists typically select medications based on the stage of myeloma and the patient’s age.
Chemotherapy Medications. Usually taken in various combinations, there are numerous chemo drugs used in the treatment of multiple myeloma such as Adriamycin, Alkeran, Cytoxan, Doxil, and Evomela.
While undergoing chemotherapy, you may also be prescribed corticosteroids such as dexamethasone to boost the efficacy of chemotherapy as well as relieve side effects.
Immunomodulatory Medications. These immunotherapy drugs such as lenalidomide, thalidomide, and pomalidomide vitalize the immune system to destroy cancer cells. They work by depriving myeloma cells of proteins they need to survive.
While it is not effective for everyone, you may also be an ideal candidate for a stem-cell transplant, which typically either precedes or supersedes a round of high-dose chemotherapy.
Multiple Myeloma Prognosis
Multiple myeloma prognosis varies patient to patient. Some patients can survive for years with only a limited number of symptoms, whereas the disease may worsen quite rapidly in others. Recognizing the types of multiple myeloma is often a difficult feat for medical experts.
Survival rates are predicted using certain established methods. The most straightforward and preferred method involves measuring the levels of two substances known as albumin and beta-2-microglobulin.
For instance, a high level of albumin with a low level of beta-2-microglobulin is indicative of a longer survival time. Some other tests such DNA testing on plasma cells may also be used. Recognizing how advanced your multiple myeloma is can play a huge role in determining the best possible treatment protocol.
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