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Definition of «Cancer, multiple myeloma»

Cancer, multiple myeloma: A bone marrow cancer involving a type of white blood cell called a plasma (or myeloma) cell. The tumor cells can form a single collection (a plasmacytoma) or many tumors (multiple myeloma). Plasma cells are part of the immune system and make antibodies. Because patients have an excess of identical plasma cells, they have too much of one type of antibody. As myeloma cells increase in number, they damage and weaken the bones, causing pain and often fractures. When bones are damaged, calcium is released into the blood leading to hypercalcemia (excess calcium in the blood) and that causes loss of appetite, nausea, thirst, fatigue, muscle weakness, restlessness, and confusion. Myeloma cells prevent the bone marrow from forming normal plasma cells and other white blood cells important to the immune system so patients may not be able to fight infections. The cancer cells can also prevent the growth of new red blood cells, causing anemia. Excess antibody proteins and calcium may prevent the kidneys from filtering and cleaning the blood properly Cancer, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma: A lymphoma is a cancer that develops in the lymphatic system. The most common symptom of non-Hodgkin's lymphomas is a painless swelling in the lymph nodes in the neck, underarm, or groin. Non-Hodgkin's lymphomas are diagnosed with a biopsy of an enlarged lymph node. Follow-up examinations are important after lymphoma treatment. Most relapses occur in the first 2 years after therapy.

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