The doctors at INTEGRIS are widely considered some of the best at treating cancer in Oklahoma. Our team brings decades of experience diagnosing and treating every type of cancer. We serve the entire state from our hospital locations in Oklahoma City, Yukon, Edmond, Enid, and Miami.
The INTEGRIS team is committed to providing the best care for its patients with multiple myeloma We believe this starts with education about the disease, its symptoms, and treatment.
Multiple myeloma is cancer of a certain type of white blood cells called “plasma cells.” A number of different types of plasma cells exist. Overall, these blood cells are responsible for making proteins called “antibodies,” important pieces of the disease-fighting immune system. Plasma cells are housed in the marrow of some skeletal bones. While multiple myeloma is not cancer of the bone, it has an effect on bone health and function because of their close connection.
When plasma cells begin overproducing, they take up the space needed for healthy bone marrow. Bone marrow produces all types of blood cells. When marrow health is compromised, it is unable to produce enough red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. This can lead to anemia, a weakened immune system, and easy bleeding and bruising.
Myeloma cells also damage hard bone tissue, causing bones to release their stores of calcium. Effects of too much calcium in the body system, a condition known as hypercalcemia, can include constipation, fatigue, weakness, and frequent thirst and urination.
Symptoms of multiple myeloma may include the symptoms of hypercalcemia listed above, as wells as:
- Bone pain, especially in the ribs or back
- Frequent fractures
- Frequent infections
- Weakness or numbness in the legs
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Problems with urination
As with any abnormal symptoms, those listed here could point to a variety of mild to severe health concerns, and only a doctor can accurately diagnose their cause. Any concerns about these symptoms should be discussed with a doctor.
Each person's treatment program is unique to him or her. Upon diagnosis, a plan is mapped out, taking into consideration the individual’s age, overall health and health history, how much the cancer has advanced, predicted course of the disease, tolerance for available procedures and medications, as well as the person’s preferences and opinions.
Treatment options for multiple myeloma include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy, targeted agents, and stem cell transplants of healthy bone marrow. Some cases of this type of cancer progress very slowly. In these instances, doctors may recommend waiting to see if the cancer becomes actively harmful before aggressive treatment is pursued, since treatment can sometimes be more harmful than the disease.
For more information on multiple myeloma visit our health library. If you have concerns about cancer please request a consultation with your primary care physician, or contact the INTEGRIS Cancer Institute in Oklahoma City.