How should one treat multiple myeloma?
Q: My aunt has been diagnosed to be suffering from a cancer called Multiple Myeloma. She is 46 years. Since two or three months she has been getting pain in her back and knees and gradually it spread to other parts of the body. When it became unbearable, she was admitted to a Nursing Home. Her physical condition has deteriorated very fast and now she is lying in bed, unable to sit or even to move a bit. Bone Marrow test has not yet been done but other test results are as follows: i)albumin:3.31 gm/dl, ii)haemoglobin:7.5 gm/dl, iii)creatinine:4.9 mg/dl, iv)calcium: 15.3 mg/dl, v)urea: 184.0 mg. According to some doctors, radiotherapy or chemotherapy would not be applicable due to her poor health. How can her health be improved? Is there any other mode of treatment other than Radio- or Chemo-therapy?
A:Your aunt has myeloma with renal failure and high calcium. Sh needs treatment urgently. Several options exist: 1. Methyl prednisolone only - no side efeects 2. Thalidomide and steriods - no major side effects 3. Mild chemotherapy. Myeloma comes under control in about 80-90% patients. Their quality of life improves dramatically. They can live for several years. You need to start therapy.