NCCN Guidelines for Patients® | Multiple Myeloma - page 31

NCCN Guidelines for Patients™: Multiple Myeloma
Version 1.2012
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3.4 Treatments for myeloma symptoms
With kyphoplasty, a balloon-like device is placed in the fractured vertebrae
and then inflated. This spreads out the vertebrae to restore the normal shape
and height of the spine. Then, the balloon is removed and a type of cement is
injected to support the vertebrae and hold them in place.
Bone damage can be painful. Radiation therapy can be used to treat pain.
It is very helpful for large bone lesions that may cause bone fractures.
Kidney damage
Bone death causes calcium to be released into the bloodstream. High levels of
calcium are dangerous for the kidneys. If this happens, you will be treated with
intravenous fluids and other drugs to help your kidneys flush out the calcium.
Very high levels of M-proteins can cause the blood to become very thick and
damage the kidneys and other organs. Blood thickness can be treated by
filtering blood through a machine to remove M-proteins. This treatment is
called plasmapheresis.
High levels of free light chains can also damage kidneys. Free light chains
combine with another protein in the kidney, which causes them to be too large
to pass through. The damage the blockage causes is called myeloma kidney.
Prompt treatment of myeloma is key to preventing permanent kidney damage.
Anemia and infections
Myeloma cells may crowd out the normal blood cells in bone marrow and
cause anemia. It can also cause an increased risk of infection. Anemia can
be treated with a drug called erythropoietin. Erythropoietin stimulates the bone
marrow to make more red blood cells. The risk of infection can be reduced with
vaccines for pneumonia and the flu.
A health condition
in which the number of red
blood cells is low
Bone marrow:
The soft
tissue in the center of bone
A mineral in bones
A crack or break
Free light chain:
of an M-protein
Into a vein
An abnormal
antibody made by myeloma
cells that doesn’t fight germs
Orthopedic surgeon:
doctor who’s an expert in
operations of the bones,
joints, and muscles
The death
of bone cells
Spinal vertebrae:
chain of 33 bones in the
center of the back
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