Folate Deficiency and Multiple Myeloma

While folate deficiency’s full role in the development of multiple myeloma remains unclear, research is showing that this condition tends to go hand-in-hand with this blood-based form of cancer. A recent study found that the frequency of folate deficiency among patients with multiple myeloma was about 14 percent. This finding raises some alarm bells for researchers who say folate replacement therapy may be needed in patients who present with multiple myeloma. The presence of deficiency with this cancer tends to also give rise to anemia, which can cause a host of complications during the treatment process.

Multiple myeloma is a cancer that is caused by plasma cells that become malignant. Since normal plasma cells play an important part in the body’s immune system, this type of cancer can prove to be especially devastating. Although quite rare, this form of cancer is known to be quite deadly. The American Cancer Society estimates about 30,000 people are diagnosed with the disease each year. About 12,600 die from it.

There are a number of risk factors for multiple myeloma, but most are not those people can change. Age, gender, race and family history, for example, are all considered risks. Obesity, however, has also been linked to this condition. The American Cancer Society, in fact, conducted a study that points to a link between being overweight or obese and developing this form of cancer. With that in mind, maintaining a healthy weight is recommended for those who wish to help prevent this disease and a host of others.

People who are concerned about multiple myeloma are urged to speak with their healthcare providers. This form of cancer tends to present with very few discernable symptoms at its onset, which is why it is generally only found in more advanced stages. Healthcare providers can offer insights on personal risks for this disease while also making a determination if screening might be necessary.

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