Rare Disease Day 2013: Maintaining bone health in people with multiple myeloma
(BPT) - In honor of the sixth annual Rare Disease Day, celebrated on Feb. 28, it is important to drive awareness about some rare cancers that are many times undiagnosed until the cancer has already spread. One particular cancer, multiple myeloma, often goes undiagnosed until the disease has spread to the bone.
Multiple myeloma is a cancer of the plasma cells, a type of white blood cell found in the bone marrow. An estimated 70,000 people in the United States are currently living with multiple myeloma and once the disease has spread to the bone, patients will likely have a skeletal-related event in the back or ribs due to bone lesions. Patients may also have growths that form on the bone, which may cause difficulty walking. Additionally, patients’ bones may easily break or they may experience loss of appetite, nausea, thirst, fatigue, weakness or numbness.
“For people living with multiple myeloma, it’s extremely important to maintain their bone health,” says Dr. Doris Browne, oncologist and president and CEO of Browne and Associates, Inc.
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