Multiple Myeloma and Lymphoma

Hematology and Oncology Specialists located in East Lansing and Charlotte, MI

Multiple Myeloma and Lymphoma services offered in East Lansing and Charlotte, MI

Multiple myeloma and lymphoma are blood cancers, with non-Hodgkin lymphoma representing the seventh most common of all types of cancers. To fight these cancers, you need the medical oncology experts at Red Cedar Oncology. Carol Rapson, MD, and Anthony Brandau, DO, have treated many people with multiple myeloma or lymphoma, helping them live a longer, healthier life. To learn about your treatment options, call the office in East Lansing or Charlotte, Michigan, or book an appointment online today.

Multiple Myeloma and Lymphoma Q & A

What is multiple myeloma?

Multiple myeloma is a cancer of white blood cells called plasma cells. These cells typically produce antibodies, proteins that destroy harmful substances like toxins, bacteria, and viruses.

Cancer develops when the cells rapidly multiply and accumulate, eventually overwhelming any healthy blood cells. The myeloma cells also produce useless, abnormal antibodies that build up in your body and damage your kidneys and bones.

 

What is lymphoma?

Lymphoma is a cancer that begins in white blood cells in the lymph system. Like all cancers, a tumor grows when the white blood cells (lymphocytes) develop a genetic mutation, rapidly multiply, and keep living when a normal cell would die.

There are two primary types of lymphoma:

 

Hodgkin lymphoma

Hodgkin lymphoma typically affects lymph nodes in your neck, armpit, groin, or behind the breastbone. It may also occur in lymph nodes in your abdomen or pelvis and can spread to your lungs, spleen, liver, and bone marrow.

 

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma begins in the lymph nodes in any part of your body. Though it can spread to any body area, it often affects your spleen or bone marrow. 

 

What symptoms occur due to multiple myeloma and lymphoma?

Both cancers cause ongoing fatigue. Otherwise, they have different symptoms:

Multiple myeloma symptoms include:

  • Bone pain (often in your spine or chest)
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Frequent infections
  • Mental confusion
  • Leg weakness or numbness

Lymphoma symptoms include:

  • Swollen lymph nodes (usually painless)
  • Itchy skin (sometimes severe)
  • Unexplained fever
  • Night sweats
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest discomfort
  • Unexplained weight loss

You may also experience various symptoms throughout your body when a large tumor presses against nerves, blood vessels, and organs.

 

How are multiple myeloma and lymphoma treated?

The medical oncologists at Red Cedar Oncology fill a vital role in treating myeloma and lymphoma because these cancers aren’t removed with surgery.

Depending on the type of tumor, you may need radiation therapy for a localized tumor or one that's causing pain or destroying a bone. Oncologists usually combine radiation therapy with chemotherapy.

The treatments provided by Red Cedar Oncology include:

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy uses a variety of drugs that kill rapidly dividing cells, such as cancer cells. Your provider may recommend chemo for the early stages of cancer and uses it as the primary treatment for advanced myeloma and lymphoma. Chemotherapy is also the first step if you need a bone marrow transplant. 

 

Immunotherapy

Cancer cells can hide from your immune system. Immunotherapy uses medications that uncover the cells, giving your immune system the ability to find and destroy the cancer. Some types of immunotherapy strengthen the immune response.

 

Targeted therapy

This treatment uses medications that target specific proteins or genes that contribute to cancer cell growth or survival. As a result, the cancer cells stop spreading and die. Targeted medications are currently available for non-Hodgkin lymphoma and multiple myeloma.

You can fight lymphoma and multiple myeloma with treatment at Red Cedar Oncology. To schedule an appointment, call the office or book online today.