How Can The Illness Be Prevented?
Multiple myeloma is a complicated disease and health experts have not yet found a way to stop it from developing entirely. However, research shows that there may be a way to halt the disease’s progression from one stage to the other.
Since the causes and risk factors are still so broad, that means it’s essential for persons to be screened for multiple myeloma even if they’re not sure they fit the criteria.
Screening for multiple myeloma typically includes a physical exam as well as blood and urine tests. Depending on those results, you may also be asked to do other tests or procedures such as a biopsy, bone marrow aspiration, cytogenetic analysis. CT scans, bone X-rays, MRIs, or PET scans.
The results of these tests will allow your doctor to effectively stage your disease. Though multiple myeloma is not staged as easily as other types of cancer, it still acts as a guide for your route of treatment. One important aspect is finding out if you’re actually at a precursor stage known as smoldering multiple myeloma (SMM).
While not everyone with this condition will progress to the active stage of multiple myeloma, many people do. If your test results show that you have SMM, your doctor will need to delve further to determine your risk level for progressing to active multiple myeloma.
Persons who have a moderate to high chance of progression are more likely to be considered for the appropriate treatment.
Thus far, studies have shown that certain drugs can significantly prevent the progression of the disease. However, the research is still relatively new and there is a lot of work that needs to be done. Being this new, it’s also possible that you’ll be eligible for clinical trials as well so it’s important to discuss your options with the doctor. There is also a need to focus research on persons who do not seem to develop SMM before being diagnosed with active multiple myeloma.
There is no evidence that multiple myeloma can be prevented easily. However, early screening has been identified as the key to taking the necessary steps to protect yourself from the active form of the disease. Even if you don’t think you are at risk, it’s best to know for sure before it’s too late.