Holistic Treatment For Multiple Myeloma in Scottsdale, AZ
Multiple myeloma, also known as myeloma, is an incurable type of cancer that makes up about 1.8% of new cancer cases in the United States each year.
It has a far lower survival rate than other more common types of cancer. But there is good news: thanks to a diverse range of treatment options available today, survival rates are increasing.
If you’re worried you or someone you know has myeloma, or there’s been a recent diagnosis in your family, you’ll want to learn all you can about this disease. In this article, we cover what myeloma is, its symptoms, risk factors, and treatments, including holistic options that support healing without damaging the body.
What Is Myeloma?
Myeloma is cancer that develops in the plasma cells, which are white blood cells that produce antibodies. Normally, these immune cells help the body fight infections. But with myeloma, the plasma cells start growing uncontrollably.
They accumulate in the bone marrow—which is where blood cells are created—crowding out healthy cells.
These cancerous cells continue multiplying, and because they are antibody-producing cells, they start producing abnormal antibodies known as M proteins.
Then, these M proteins can wreak havoc on different areas of the body. Myeloma often affects the bones and kidneys and can cause bone loss, bone pain, or kidney damage.
Another big problem is immune health. Because myeloma cells grow in the bone marrow, they can impact your body’s ability to create healthy red and white blood cells. This can lead to new health problems ranging from minor fatigue to chronic conditions that impact everyday life.
What Health Problems Are People with Multiple Myeloma at Risk For?
Because myeloma can have a cascading negative impact on your health, it can lead to serious conditions. Someone suffering from this disease might experience one condition or several.
Myeloma can cause all of the following:
- Hypercalcemia: If you have hypercalcemia, damaged bones release too much calcium into the bloodstream.
- Kidney damage: If cancerous plasma cells and M proteins block the kidneys from filtering waste and toxins, you could experience kidney problems or kidney failure.
- Anemia: When the myeloma cells don’t leave enough room for healthy red blood cells, you won’t have enough healthy blood available to carry oxygen to your organs.
- Bacterial infection: Because abnormal plasma cells crowd out white blood cells, your body might not have enough white blood cell defenders to protect against pneumonia and other bacterial infections.
- Thrombocytopenia: This is a condition characterized by low platelets, which are necessary for helping your blood clot.
What Are the Symptoms of Myeloma?
The symptoms of myeloma can be intense, and many are triggered by conditions the myeloma has caused. However, some people have the disease without symptoms.
Here are some of the most common signs that someone has plasma cell cancer:
- Bone pain—this is often one of the first signs of myeloma.
- Weakness and fatigue—with myeloma, the fatigue is extreme and is usually a sign of anemia caused by the disease.
- Appetite loss, unexplained weight loss, or feeling extra thirsty—these myeloma symptoms can all be a sign you have hypercalcemia.
- Nausea and vomiting—can also be caused by hypercalcemia.
- Bruising or bleeding—which indicates your body isn’t producing enough platelets.
- Sudden fevers—an unexplained fever can be a sign of a bacterial infection your body is struggling to cope with because it doesn’t have enough white blood cells.
What Causes Myeloma?
There’s no known cause of myeloma, but there are risk factors that are associated with a higher likelihood of coming down with this type of cancer.
- Exposure to environmental factors such as chemical pesticides and chlorinated solvents such as bleach is associated with an elevated risk of multiple myeloma.
- Demographics, age, and family history also impact someone's likeliness of being diagnosed with myeloma. Men in their mid-sixties or older are most likely to be diagnosed. African Americans are more affected than other races, and anyone who has a close family member with multiple myeloma also has an increased risk.
- Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) is a condition where abnormal plasma cells make numerous copies of a specific antibody known as the monoclonal protein. These cells don’t go on to form tumors, and people with MGUS alone won’t experience the complications of myeloma: weak bones, kidney issues, high calcium levels, and blood count problems. However, MGUS can be a precursor to myeloma, and about 1% of individuals with MGUS develop myeloma, lymphoma, or amyloidosis (another type of plasma cell cancer).
Can Myeloma Be Cured?
Modern medicine isn’t able to cure myeloma. Treatment generally involves helping people live as long as possible and addressing some of the conditions brought on by the disease.
The 5-year relative survival rate for this type of cancer is 57.9%, but some people do live for ten years or longer.
Can Multiple Myeloma Be Treated Holistically?
Treatment for myeloma has evolved over the past decade, and today patients have more options to help them cope with the disease. Under a conventional approach, doctors might recommend a combination of chemotherapy, immunotherapy, stem cell transplants, and radiation therapy to kill cancer cells, reduce bone tumors, and stimulate the immune system.
Individuals looking for non-toxic therapies can also take a more natural approach. Holistic treatments for myeloma can be used to support healing without damaging healthy cells or causing adverse side effects. Here are three science-backed holistic options:
1. Light Therapy
Ultraviolet light penetrates the skin and heals on a cellular level. Many patients prefer this type of therapy because it’s non-invasive, painless, and doesn’t cause any negative side effects. It might also help people with myeloma—one study found that priming cytolytic T lymphocytes (an immune cell that can kill cancer cells) with tumor cells that have been illuminated with ultraviolet light increases apoptosis (cell death of the cancer cells) and stops tumor cells from proliferating.
2. Ozone Therapy
One of the complications of myeloma is jaw issues, including lesions and major dental issues. But ozone therapy, which is known to promote tissue healing and offer antimicrobial properties, has been shown to be an effective treatment for myeloma patients suffering from osteonecrosis of the jaw.
3. Vitamin C Therapy
In high doses, vitamin C has been shown to destroy tumor cells while leaving healthy cells alone. Researchers have found that vitamin C reacts with the high iron content in myeloma cells, which is what kills the cancer cells.
Find Out How Holistic Medicine Can Help Patients with Myeloma
All of these holistic treatments and more can play a role in a natural, non-toxic treatment plan for multiple myeloma. They can also be used alongside traditional medical procedures.
If you want to learn more about treating myeloma holistically, reach out to the experienced team of integrative medicine physicians and holistic specialists at Brio-Medical. We’ll talk to you about what’s possible based on your unique situation. Schedule a free consultation today.
References for multiple myeloma:
 National Cancer Institute authors. “Cancer Stat Facts: Myeloma.” NIH Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program, https://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/mulmy.html. Accessed September 30, 2022.
 Bobin, Arthur et al. “Multiple Myeloma: An Overview of the Current and Novel Therapeutic Approaches in 2020.” Cancers vol. 12,10 2885. 8 Oct. 2020, doi:10.3390/cancers12102885
 Cleveland Clinic medical professional. “Multiple Myeloma.” Cleveland Clinic, reviewed May 4, 2022, https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/6178-multiple-myeloma.
 Morris, P D et al. “Toxic substance exposure and multiple myeloma: a case-control study.” Journal of the National Cancer Institute vol. 76,6 (1986): 987-94.
 Gold, Laura S et al. “The relationship between multiple myeloma and occupational exposure to six chlorinated solvents.” Occupational and environmental medicine vol. 68,6 (2011): 391-9. doi:10.1136/oem.2009.054809
 American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team. “About Multiple Myeloma.” American Cancer Society, last revised on February 28, 2018, https://www.cancer.org/cancer/multiple-myeloma/about/what-is-multiple-myeloma.html.
 Gullo, Charles A et al. “Use of ultraviolet-light irradiated multiple myeloma cells as immunogens to generate tumor-specific cytolytic T lymphocytes.” Journal of immune based therapies and vaccines vol. 6 2. 28 Apr. 2008, doi:10.1186/1476-8518-6-2
 Cristiano Gallucci, Alessandro Agrillo, Giorgio Iannetti, Robert Foà, Maria Teresa Petrucci; Possible Role of Ozone Therapy in the Treatment of Osteonecrosis of the Jaws in Multiple Myeloma Patients.. Blood 2005; 106 (11): 3460. doi: https://doi.org/10.1182/blood.V106.11.3460.3460
 Xia, Jiliang et al. “Multiple myeloma tumor cells are selectively killed by pharmacologically-dosed ascorbic acid.” Volume 18, P41-49, April 01, 2017, Published on February 15, 2017, DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ebiom.2017.02.011.