What is plasma cell leukemia?Plasma cell leukemia is a severe and advanced form of multiple myeloma which can be diagnosed by the presence of excessive number of abnormal plasma cells in the blood. Normal Plasma cells are the mature B lymphocytes; these cells form antibodies and help to fight against foreign bodies and disease-causing agents such as bacteria and viruses.
What is multiple myeloma?Multiple myeloma is a type of cancer that originates from the uncontrolled division of a type of white blood cells called plasma cells.It is a condition in which excessive immature plasma cells (a type of white blood cells that fight against the infection to prevent from disease) produce and accumulate in the bone marrow which produces abnormal proteins instead of antibodies. These abnormal proteins cause complications.
Disease EpidemiologyIt is a very rare disease that affects only 1 person per million of the population every year. It is more common in people of African American origin. It is slightly more common in males than females.
Disease CausesThere is no well-known cause, however certain hereditary and genetic factors are considered responsible for the development of multiple myeloma. Risk factors that can cause plasma cell leukemia are obesity, previous exposure to certain radiations or radiation therapy, multiple myeloma is any close family member, and exposure to certain chemicals.
Signs and symptomsThe patient may suffer from the following sign and symptoms. These are
- Pain in the affected bone in case of tumor of the bone particularly in the spinal cord or chest bones
- Bone fracture
- Constant Fatigue (feeling of tiredness)
- Loss of appetite
- Repeated infections
- Excessive bleeding on slight injury
- Weakness or numbness in the legs
- Excessive thirst
- Mental confusion
- Pain or numbness in the thumb, index, and middle finger
- Enlargement of the spleen and liver
DiagnosisThe following diagnostic techniques and procedures can be used to make a diagnosis. These are
- Complete blood count (CBC)
- Serum Protein electrophoresis
- Urine protein electrophoresis
- Serum calcium levels
- Renal function test (RFT’s)
- Imaging techniques like USG, CT-scan, PET-scan, MRI, and X-ray.
- Bone marrow and affected tissue biopsy.