What is Plasmacytoma?
Plasmacytoma is a type of cancer that arises from plasma cells, a type of white blood cell that produces antibodies. This condition can present as a single lesion (solitary plasmacytoma) or multiple lesions (multiple myeloma when widespread). Plasmacytomas are most commonly found in bone, but they can also occur in soft tissues (extramedullary plasmacytomas).
The symptoms of plasmacytoma vary depending on whether it is solitary or part of multiple myeloma, and where it is located:
- Bone Pain: Especially common in the back or chest.
- Fractures: Bones weakened by the tumor may break more easily.
- Anemia: Leading to fatigue and weakness.
- Swelling or Lump: In cases of extramedullary plasmacytoma.
- Neurological Symptoms: If the tumor compresses nerves or the spinal cord.
- Infections: Frequent or prolonged infections due to compromised immunity.
Disease Aetiology (Causes)
The exact cause of plasmacytoma is not clearly understood. However, genetic mutations in plasma cells that lead to uncontrolled growth are a contributing factor.
Diagnosing plasmacytoma involves:
- Physical Examination: To identify symptoms and check for visible lumps or swelling.
- Imaging Studies: X-rays, MRI, or CT scans to locate the tumor and assess its size.
- Bone Marrow Biopsy: To look for abnormal plasma cells.
- Blood and Urine Tests: To detect abnormal proteins produced by cancerous plasma cells.
Treatment for plasmacytoma depends on its type and location:
- Radiation Therapy: The primary treatment for solitary bone plasmacytomas.
- Chemotherapy: Used for multiple myeloma and some cases of extramedullary plasmacytoma.
- Surgery: Occasionally required to remove an extramedullary plasmacytoma or stabilize a bone.
- Stem Cell Transplant: Considered for some patients with multiple myeloma.
What support can we give for Plasmacytoma?
Plasmacytoma is a rare cancer, meaning it is not as well-known as other forms of cancer. Without a Ribbon is an Australian organisation that provides support for individuals who suffer from rare cancers. So, we provide a designated platform for Warriors to obtain information specific to their Rare Cancer. We also provide annual opportunities for our Warriors to meet and learn from each other. If you suffer from rare cancer such as Plasmacytoma, we can help and support you through your journey thanks to the generous donations we receive. Click the link below to sign up and become a Warrior today!
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Without a Ribbon is a charity that works hard to aid those who suffer from rare cancers. You can help our cause in a variety of ways: