Multiple Myeloma (MM) is a cancer of the immune system that occurs in the white blood cells that compose plasma.
Staging is the process of grading the severity of the illness. The stage ranges from I to III. Stage I is least severe, while Stage III is most severe.
- Stage I is labeled when the hemoglobin is greater than 100 g/L, the serum calcium is less than 12 mg/dl, normal bone x-ray or only one lesion, and low production of M-component.
- Stage III is labeled when the hemoglobin is less than 85 g/L, serum calcium is greater than 12 mg/dL, advanced and several lytic bone lesions, and high production of M-component.
If the findings are in between the two, then Stage II is declared. The higher the stage is, the lesser will be your chance to survive the disease.
The survival rate of patients afflicted with multiple myeloma is low. Generally, 15 percent of patients die within the first 3 months from the time of diagnosis. Thereafter, 15 percent die every year. The disease will persist for about 2 to 5 years. The, terminal phase ensues wherein pancytopenia (reduction in the number of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets) takes place. When this stage is reached, survival is less than 6 months.