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What is Multiple Myeloma Cancer? Is it curable?

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The first black Secretary of State, Colin L. Powell, suffered from multiple myeloma. It is a type of blood cancer that blocks the immune system and reduces the effectiveness of vaccines, including the Covid-19 vaccine.

Cancer attacks plasma cells, which build antibodies that are essential to the body’s immune defenses. It also lives in the bone marrow and packs a spongy substance in the middle of the bone, preventing the production of healthy plasma cells. In addition to weakening the immune system, it can also lead to kidney damage.

Multiple myeloma appears to be a random misfortune for those who develop the disease, and scientists are still unable to predict it based on genetic or environmental factors. But there were risk factors, and Powell had them. Being black doubles the risk, just like being a man. Almost all patients with multiple myeloma are over 45 years of age. Powell was 84 years old.

However, according to the National Cancer Institute, it accounts for only 1.8% of cancers in the United States, rarely causing 34,920 new cases annually, and this percentage has been stable for the past decade.

The 5-year survival rate for cancer is 55.6%, which has changed little over the last decade, despite the introduction of more sophisticated drugs. Approximately 12,410 deaths annually, or 2% of all cancer deaths nationwide, are the result of multiple myeloma.

There is no known way to prevent the disease.

Patients in the early stages of multiple myeloma may go unnoticed. These illnesses can be detected by regular blood or urine tests. Later, as the disease progresses, patients may experience bone pain, fever, frequent infections, malaise, dyspnea, and weakness in the arms and legs. The skin can be easily damaged and can be easily broken.

Treatment includes chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and stem cell transplantation. In this transplant, cells in the human bone marrow are intentionally destroyed, new cells are injected, and the bone marrow repopulates. These replacement cells are the patient’s own hematopoietic bone marrow cells, which can be removed and stored before the bone marrow is destroyed, or cells from a closely related donor. Stem cell transplantation using the patient’s own cells can relieve the disease, but eventually relapses.

Food and Drug Administration has recently turned to attack cancer directly by using T cells in the patient’s own immune system or by using drugs designed to block certain molecules on the surface of the cancer cells. Approved the designed treatment.

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2/ https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/18/health/multiple-myeloma-cancer-colin-powell.html

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