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My father has plasmacytoma, will he be able to live a normal life?

Q: My father is 65 years old. He had a surgery for spinal cord tumour last week. The biopsy results of the tumour say that he has plasmacytoma. The cells are negative for leucocyte common antigen on immunostain. What does that mean? What is the further treatment? Will he be able to lead a normal life?

A:Plasmacytoma is a cancerous tumour arising from the plasma cells within the blood stream and the bone marrow. Since the marrow forms a site of origin, the tumour is commonly seen in bones. If only one bone is involved, the descriptive term solitary plasmacytoma is used. When many bones are involved, the term multiple myeloma is used. It is uncommon for such a tumour to be found in the spinal cord. The treatment of a solitary plasmacytoma may include radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy. The ultimate long term outlook depends on the response of the tumour to therapy. If his spinal column is stable and nerves and spinal cord are functioning efficiently, he should be able to return to his normal activity. Should the tumour fail to respond to treatment or recur despite therapy, further avenues to get rid of it will need to be explored.


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