March is Multiple Myeloma Awareness Month. Hundreds of thousands of people are living with or in remission from multiple myeloma in the world.
Multiple Myeloma is a type of blood cancer that affects plasma cells, which are a type of white blood cell that helps fight infections. Plasma cells are found in bone marrow, and multiple myeloma occurs when abnormal plasma cells grow uncontrollably and accumulate in bone marrow, interfering with the production of normal blood cells.
Multiple myeloma can cause a range of symptoms, including bone pain, fatigue, recurrent infections, anemia, and kidney damage. While the exact cause of multiple myeloma is unknown, several risk factors, such as age, family history, and exposure to certain chemicals, have been identified.
Discover Genetic Testing Options
March is multiple myeloma awareness month to encourage individuals to cancer testing.
Genetic testing is an important tool for diagnosing and managing multiple myeloma. There are several types of genetic testing that can be done, including chromosomal analysis, fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), and next-generation sequencing (NGS).
Chromosomal analysis involves examining the chromosomes in a sample of cells from a patient’s bone marrow to look for changes or abnormalities. In multiple myeloma, a common genetic abnormality is the translocation of chromosomes 14 and 16, which can be detected by chromosomal analysis.
FISH is a more targeted type of genetic testing that can identify specific genetic changes associated with multiple myeloma. FISH tests can detect abnormalities in genes such as IGH, MYC, and CCND1, which are commonly altered in multiple myeloma.
NGS is a newer type of genetic testing that can analyze multiple genes at once and provide a more comprehensive picture of a patient’s genetic profile. NGS can identify not only the genetic abnormalities commonly found in multiple myeloma but also less common mutations that may be driving the disease.
Genetic testing can help doctors make a more accurate diagnosis of multiple myeloma and tailor treatment to a patient’s specific genetic profile. For example, patients with certain genetic abnormalities may benefit from different types of chemotherapy or targeted therapies. Genetic testing can also be helpful in identifying family members who may be at increased risk of developing multiple myeloma. Multiple myeloma can run in families, and some genetic mutations have been linked to an increased risk of the disease. Identifying these mutations in family members can allow for earlier detection and management of the disease.
In conclusion, Multiple Myeloma is a serious disease that affects thousands of people each year. Genetic testing can be an important tool for diagnosing and managing multiple myeloma and identifying family members who may be at risk. If you are concerned about your risk of developing multiple myeloma or have a family history of the disease, you should consult your physician. We are here to assist to physicians with our Healily Hematooncology test portfolio.
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