People confuse multiple myeloma with other health complications


They slip into stage-II or III form of the blood cancer by the time it is diagnosed

Owing to lack of awareness on multiple myeloma ( a type of blood cancer), people tend to confuse its symptoms with other health complications and they slip into stage-II or III form of the cancer by the time the blood cancer is diagnosed.

Addressing a press conference on sidelines of The Indian Myeloma Congress-2020 held at Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS), Punjagutta, on Saturday, medical specialists said that one of the agendas of the congress is to raise awareness about multiple myeloma - which affects bone marrow.

If haemoglobin levels are low, bones become weak, kidneys fail, infection is detected, people have to suspect multiple myeloma. They can consult a medical oncologist or any cancer care centre for the diagnosis and treatment.

People tend to overlook the possibility of the cancer and consult a physician when haemoglobin levels decreases, approach an orthopaedician when bones become weak, and a nephrologist when kidneys fail. Every year, at least 100 new patients suffering from multiple myeloma consult doctors at NIMS. Head of Medical Oncology Department at NIMS, G Sadashivudu said that most of the patients were in stage-II or III of the disease. While prevention is not known, Dr Sadashivudu stressed that early diagnosis will be of help.

NIMS Director Dr K Manohar said that bone marrow transplantation is offered free of cost at the institute to people who are beneficiaries of Aarogyasri Health Scheme. From 2017, over 50 people availed the treatment under the scheme at the institute. The treatment costs up to ₹ 10 lakh at corporate hospitals.

Speaking at the press conference, Dr Shaji Kumar said that lifespan of blood cancer patients has increased from two to three years, to more than 10 years because of the medicines available for treatment. Medical specialists said that the best medical care available in developed nations is offered in India too.

Dr Vincent Rajkumar, Haematologist at Mayo Clinic, USA, Dr Nikhgil Munshi, Associate Professor, Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Dr Meher Lakshmi and Dr Rachana from NIMS, and others were present at the press conference.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2020 1:59:55 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/people-confuse-multiple-myeloma-with-other-health-complications/article30546004.ece

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