Multiple Myeloma an incurable disease, but I have spent the last 25 years in remission using a blend of conventional oncology and evidence-based nutrition, supplementation, and lifestyle therapies from peer-reviewed studies that your oncologist probably hasn't told you about.
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Diagnostic testing for multiple myeloma made me feel like a pincushion. A complete blood count (CBC) however, not only gives the Dr. and patient both, a great deal of information, it speaks directly to two of the most common symptoms- fatigue and infection in the form of red blood cells (anemia) and white blood cells (infection).
Blood is made up of water, proteins, nutrients, and living cells. A CBC tells your cancer care team about the cells in your blood. It measures 3 basic types of blood cells:
Each of these cells has a special purpose. And each can be harmed by cancer and cancer treatments.
Red blood cells (RBCs)
RBCs carry oxygen to and carbon dioxide away from the cells in your body. The CBC measures red blood cells in many ways, but the simplest measure is either
Hemoglobin (Hgb), the part of each RBC that carries iron
Hematocrit (Hct), the percent of RBCs in the blood
When the Hgb and Hct values fall too low, it’s called anemia (uh-NEE-me-uh).
Platelets help control bleeding. You may bruise or bleed easily when your platelet levels are low. The risk of bleeding goes up when platelet levels drop below 20,000.
When your platelet count is low, your health care team may call it thrombocytopenia (throm-bo-SY-tuh-PEEN-e-uh).
WBCs fight infection. There are many types of white blood cells and each fights infection in a special way.
The most important infection-fighting WBC is the neutrophil (NEW-truh-fil). The number doctors look at is called your absolute neutrophil count (ANC). A healthy person has an ANC between 2,500 and 6,000.
The ANC is found by multiplying the WBC count by the percent of neutrophils in the blood. For instance, if the WBC count is 8,000 and 50% of the WBCs are neutrophils, the ANC is 4,000 (8,000 × 0.50 = 4,000).
When the ANC drops below 1,000 it is called neutropenia (new-truh-PEEN-e-uh). Your doctor will watch your ANC closely because the risk of infection is much higher when the ANC is below 500.
Have you been diagnosed with multiple myeloma? What symptoms? What stage? Let me know.
Perform a complete blood count (CBC) to determine if the patient has anemia, thrombocytopenia, or leukopenia. The CBC and differential may show pancytopenia. The reticulocyte count is typically low. Peripheral blood smears may show rouleau formation.
The erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) is typically increased. Coagulation studies may yield abnormal results…”