Myeloma is a type of cancer that begins in the white blood cells. It is also called Kahler disease, myelomatosis and plasma cell myeloma. Myeloma affects the bone marrow, the part of the body where blood cells are made. The type of white blood cells called plasma cells become abnormal and multiply rapidly, causing problems with the production of normal blood cells. The growth of these abnormal cells in the bone marrow can weaken the bones, especially in the back and ribs, causing pain and broken bones.
Although combination chemotherapy that targets the myeloma cells is the main treatment for multiple myeloma, you might also have a bone marrow or stem cell transplant, or radiation therapy.
Our medical oncologists are board certified and work with your entire treatment team to provide medication and clinical trials as one of your treatment options.
Our team includes community medical oncologists who have a special interest in myeloma. These doctors have clinics throughout the Portland metro area, giving you the option to stay within your community for treatment.
Our radiation oncologists are board certified and work with the entire treatment team to provide radiation therapy.
The type of radiation treatment used to treat multiple myeloma is called external beam radiation therapy. This means the radiation is given from outside the body. Having this treatment is much like getting an X-ray, but it lasts longer and is usually done several times a week for many weeks.
Myeloma can weaken the bones in your back so much that they collapse. This puts pressure on the spinal cord and spinal nerves. This can cause sudden numbness or tingling, sudden weakness of leg muscles or sudden problems with urinating or bowel movements. This is a medical emergency that needs to be treated right away. The treatment may include radiation therapy, surgery or both.
At the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, our team of doctors, nurses and therapists is dedicated to diagnosing, treating and managing myeloma. Our myeloma doctors are fellowship trained and have extensive knowledge about the diagnosis, treatment and cure of myeloma.
We work together to find the best treatments for myeloma and multiple myeloma. Our team includes OHSU community medical oncologists who have a special interest in myeloma. Our doctors and nurses meet weekly to discuss all of our patients, giving you the benefit of the entire team’s knowledge and expertise.
Kasra Karamlou, M.D