Multiple myeloma (MM), also referred to as Kahler’s disease, is a type of cancer of the plasma cells (a type of white blood cells which are responsible for recognizing foreign infections and producing antibodies) of the bone marrow.
It is an incurable hematologic malignancy which is linked with high disease burden and relapse rates.
- according to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 31,000 new cases of MM are diagnosed every year in the United States. Also, there are over 13,000 deaths a year;
- there are approximately 3,000 myeloma deaths in the United Kingdom a year;
- the lifetime risk of getting MM is 1 in 132;
- the average age of the typical myeloma patient is 70;
- the 5-year survival rate for patients with MM is around 50 percent. About 33 percent of patients diagnosed with MM survive their disease for 10 years or more.
Although the exact cause of MM is unknown, doctors suspect there may be a variety of causes which may include:
- genetic abnormalities;
- the effects of exposure to radiation;
- emotional stress;
- smoking tobacco.
MM symptoms may develop slowly over time and they can include:
- excessive thirst;
- bone pain, particularly in the chest or spine;
- numbness or weakness in the legs;
- weight loss;
- frequent infections;
- changes in the color or texture;
- mental fogginess;
- loss of appetite.
Note – occasionally, MM may not cause any symptoms. This is called smoldering multiple myeloma and it can remain in this mode for 10 or even 20 years.
A few factors increase your risk of developing MM, including:
- MGUS (monoclonal gammopathy) – individuals with MGUS make a protein called M-protein. In the majority of cases, MM starts with MGUS;
- some research suggests that working in oil-related industry may increase the risk of MM;
- being obese;
- radiation exposure;
- family history – you have a 400 percent increased risk to be diagnosed with Kahler’s disease compared to someone without a family history of MM;
- gender – males are slightly more likely to develop MM;
- race – African-Americans have a 100 percent increased risk to develop MM compared to Caucasians;
- age – less than 1% of individuals diagnosed with MM are younger than 35.
- radiology tests;
- blood monoclonal immunoglobulin;
- a bone marrow aspiration.
Treatment options include:
- targeted therapy;
- stem cell transplantation;
- in about 70 percent of MM cases, the bones develop multiple holes;
- some suferrers develop kidney problems before receiving a diagnosis of MM;
- over 67 percent of patients with MM experience anemia;
- hypercalcemia (a high calcium level in the blood serum) is present in over 10% of people with MM at the time of diagnosis.
Here Is A List Of 10 Celebrities With Multiple Myeloma:
#1 Robert Bussard
He was an American physicist who suggested a form of interstellar propulsion based on the principle of the ramjet.
On October 6, 2007, Robert Bussard died from MM at the age of 79.
#2 Roy Scheider
He was an American actor and amateur boxer who gained fame for his roles in The Seven-Ups, The French Connection, Jaws, Marathon Man, and 2001: A Space Odyssey.
In 2004, he was found to have MM and received a bone marrow transplant in June 2005. On February 10, 2008, Roy Scheider died in Little Rock, Arkansas.
#3 Tom Brokaw
He is an American author and television journalist who is best known for being the anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News. Currently, Tom serves as a Special Correspondent for NBC News.
In August 2013, Tom Brokaw was diagnosed with MM at the Mayo Clinic.
#4 Jim Davis
He was an American actor who is best known for his role in the soap opera ”Dallas,” a role that continued until he was too ill to perform.
Jim died from MM at his home in Northridge, California.
#5 Caroline McWilliams
She was an American actress who is best known for her role in the television series Benson as well as in Guiding Light.
On February 11, 2010, at the age of 64, Caroline died from MM at her home in Los Angeles, California.
#6 Sam Walton
He was an American entrepreneur and businessman who is best known for founding Sam’s Club and Walmart. At one point in his life, Sam Walton was the richest man in the United States.
On Sunday, April 5, 1992, Sam died due to MM, in Little Rock, Arkansas.
#7 Susannah York
She was an English film, stage, and television actress who won the best actress award for Images at the 1972 Cannes Film Festival.
In 2010, Susannah was diagnosed with cancer but refused chemotherapy. On January 15, 2011, York died at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London from MM.
“The blue-eyed English rose with the china-white skin and cupid lips who epitomized the sensuality of the swinging Sixties” – an obituary in The Telegraph.
#8 Peter Boyle
He was an American actor who won an Emmy Award in 1996 for a role on the science-fiction drama The X-Files.
Peter died on December 12, 2006, at the age of 71, at New York Presbyterian Hospital in NYC after suffering from heart disease and MM.
#9 Stacy Robinson
He was a professional American football wide receiver in the NFL who played for the New York Giants. Stacy also died due to MM.
#10 Jack Rosenthal
He was an English playwright, who wrote over 150 screenplays, including original feature films, TV plays, and adaptations.
On May 29, 2004, Jack Rosenthal died due to MM in Barnet, London, at the age of 72.