Multiple myeloma is a type of cancer that affects a type of white blood cells called plasma cells. When one is affected by this condition, such cells become cancerous and form multiple tumors, hence the term “multiple myeloma” was coined. The diagnosis of multiple myeloma involves blood, urine, and imaging tests; the treatment methods and diet plan are then employed accordingly. Read on to find out what these methods are and which foods are normally consumed.
The treatment for multiple myeloma may depend on whether you need a bone marrow transplant or if your cancer has relapsed. Depending on these conditions, your doctor may suggest a combination of different treatments, medication, or transplants. The common methods used to treat multiple myeloma are
Through doses of heavy medications, chemotherapy kills the fast-growing, cancerous myeloma cells in your body. This treatment option is specifically used before a bone marrow transplant but can cause many side effects.
- Radiation therapy
Using high powered beams like X-rays, radiation therapy is a treatment generally used to kill myeloma cells in a certain affected area. The common side effects of radiation therapy are nausea, vomiting, and hair loss.
Your immune system fails to attack cancer cells as they’re hidden from the immune system by a protein that is generated in the cancer cells. Immunotherapy interferes with this system and uses your immune system to fight cancer cells.
- Targeted therapy
In this treatment method, weaknesses present in the cancer cells are targeted and killed. It can be used individually or as a combination with other treatments like chemotherapy and radiation.
- Bone marrow transplant
A bone marrow transplant is often performed after heavy doses of chemotherapy. This helps kill the cancerous cells in the body. After the bone marrow is replaced, the healthy cells start growing around it.
Multiple myeloma can cause complications like anemia, kidney problems, and infections. To deal with these complications, an appropriate diet plan is of extreme importance. However, you must always consult your doctor or dietician before adding or subtracting any foods.
- Foods for dealing with anemia
An overgrowth of cancerous plasma in the bone marrow decreases the number of blood-forming cells and leads to a lower red blood count. Some essential foods for addressing anemia include raisins, kale, Brussel sprouts, sweet potatoes, and broccoli. Your doctor may also suggest getting iron supplements if your cancer was the cause of your anemia.
- Foods for good kidney health
Cancer breaks down bones, which results in added calcium to the blood. This makes processing all this extra calcium harder for your kidney. Foods that are good for your kidneys include whole grains, dried fruits, apples, pears, oranges, and beans
- Foods for infections
Due to chemotherapy and cancer, your immune system is weakened, which means infections easily enter your body. The foods advised for people prone to infections are bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast.
You must always wash your hands before and after meals and refrain from raw vegetables and meat.