Search for school

Multiple Myeloma: What a Nurse Needs to Know

When it comes to multiple myeloma nursing, interventions are critical. How a nurse detects and treats a patient can have a big impact on his or her overall prognosis. For this reason, it is vital that nurses fully understand this disease, so they can diagnose and treat it as quickly as possible. Here is what a nurse needs to know about multiple myeloma.

What is Multiple Myeloma?

Multiple myeloma is, put simply, a cancer of plasma cells. It is often confused for bone cancer, multiple myeloma does not occur in the bones themselves, but in the bone marrow. Multiple myeloma is a relatively common form of cancer. According to Cancer.gov, it is predicted that 22,000 people will have been diagnosed with this debilitating disease by the year 2013 is over. Multiple myeloma occurs when the abnormal plasma cells build up in several different bones throughout the body.

What are the Risk Factors?

Knowing the risk factors of multiple myeloma is extremely important for nurses in order to aid in efficient diagnosis. While the cause of this disease is unknown, as with all cancers, there seems to be certain risk factors that appear more frequently in multiple myeloma patients. Most commonly, people diagnosed with the disease are over the age of 65. Almost all patients are at least older than 35. To find a patient under the age of 35 is truly rare.

When it comes to race, the highest incidence of the disease is found in African Americans, and the lowest incidence is in Asian Americans. The reason for this is unknown. Men also have a higher occurrence of the disease. In fact, in 2011, 11,400 men were diagnosed while only 9,100 women had the disease. Family history does appear to have an effect, as does a personal history of monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS). Other environmental risk factors are still being studied and as of now are inconclusive.

What are the Symptoms?

Once again, knowing the symptoms of this disease is a truly important step for nurses. If they can properly recognize the symptoms, they can properly diagnose multiple myeloma. The most common symptoms of the disease include bone pain (most commonly in the back and ribs), a high occurrence of broken bones (specifically the small bones in the spine), being very thirsty, tired and weak, getting frequent infections, weight loss, frequent urination, and nausea or constipation. As with any disease, these symptoms can also be associated with other ailments, so it is important to always confirm any suspicions with the proper diagnostic tools.

How is the Disease Diagnosed?

When it comes to multiple myeloma nursing interventions, the diagnosis is undoubtedly the most important. If diagnosed early enough, the chances of fully catching the disease and stopping it are much greater. There are several ways for nurses to help diagnose this disease. Blood tests are often done to check for high levels of protein or calcium, or a low occurrence of white blood cells and platelets. Additionally, urine tests can be used to look for the Bence Jones protein. Another great option is to perform an x-ray to look for broken or thinning bones. While all of these methods can help give the nurse a clearer picture of the disease, the only true way to diagnose it is with a biopsy of the bone marrow.

What are the Treatment Options?

Once the disease is confirmed, it is up to the patient and doctor to determine the best course of action. First, the doctor and nurse will determine what stage the disease is in. In other words, how far along it is and if it has spread to the rest of the body. If the multiple myeloma is still in its early stages, the nurse may want to advise the patient to wait and watch the disease to see how it progresses. If it is further along, a combination of drug therapy and/or a stem cell transplant may be recommended.

If multiple myeloma is properly diagnosed and treated in a timely manner, many patients go on to live a long, healthy life. However, as with any cancer, if it is diagnosed too late, the success rates dramatically plummet. For this reason, multiple myeloma nursing interventions are vital for the overall care of their patients.

Nursing Scholarships

American Assembly for Men in Nursing (AAMN) American Cancer Society Doctoral Degree Scholarships in Cancer Nursing Gallagher Student Health Careers Scholarship
The Gates Millenium Scholars (GMS) National Black Nurses Association (NBNA) National Student Nurses’ Association (NSNA)
New Careers in Nursing (NCIN) Nurse Corps Scholarship (NCS) Nurses of Tomorrow
Nursing Economics Foundation Tylenol Future Care Scholarship American Holistic Nurses Association

Post University Online

Experience an education that helps you realize your potential in a way that fits you best. Request more information about Post University today.

Programs:

  • Graduate Certificate in Alcohol & Drug Counseling
  • B.S. in Human Services / Human Services Management
  • B.A. in Psychology / Organizational Psychology
  • And more...

Full Sail University - Online

Push Your Creativity To The Next Level

Programs:

  • Cloud Technologies Bachelors - Online
  • Graphic Design, Bachelor of Science (Online)
  • Entertainment Business, Master of Science (Online)
  • And more...

Lincoln Tech

Get a hands-on, job-specific education at Lincoln Tech.

Programs:

  • Diesel Technology
  • Welding Technology
  • Heavy Equipment
  • And more...

Colorado Technical University Online

A degree from CTU connects you to what matters most: powerful professional network, real-world professional faculty and innovative technology. Once you earn your degree you hit the ground running.

Programs:

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN completion)
  • Master of Science in Information Technology - Network Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice – Human Services
  • And more...

Full Sail University - Online

Learning at Full Sail University has always centered around interaction and the exchange of ideas. Our online curriculum fully embraces this philosophy.

Programs:

  • Cloud Technologies Bachelors - Online
  • Graphic Design, Bachelor of Science (Online)
  • Entertainment Business, Master of Science (Online)
  • And more...

Davenport University

Since 1866, Davenport University has been providing students with real-world experience, giving them the edge they need to get the career they want.                                            
             

Programs:

  • International Business, BBA
  • Computer Information Systems, AAS
  • Technology Project Management, BS
  • And more...

Argosy University, Online Programs

Welcome to Argosy University

Argosy University offers doctoral, master's, and bachelor's degree programs to students through its eight colleges:  College of Behavioral Sciences, Graduate School of Business and Management, College of Education,  College of Health Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Creative Arts and Design, College of Clinical Psychology and Western State College of Law at Argosy University as well as certificate programs in many areas.

Programs:

  • Business Administration (BS)
  • Curriculum and Instruction (EdD)
  • Liberal Arts (BA)
  • And more...

American InterContinental University Online

You’re serious about success. With your busy schedule and the desire to move your career forward, you can earn an accredited associate, bachelors or master’s degree at a pace that works for you anywhere, anytime, 24/7.

At AIU, the Serious U, you can get started to get ahead.

Programs:

  • Bachelor of Accounting
  • Bachelor's (BSCJ) - Law Enforcement
  • Bachelor's (BSCJ) - Forensic Science
  • And more...

Aviation Institute of Maintenance

Aviation Institute of Maintenance schools are distinguished institutes committed to the education and personal enrichment of each student interested in the Aviation Industry.

Programs:

  • Aviation Maintenance Technician
  • Aviation Maintenance Technical Engineer

Concordia University - Portland

Online Learning at Concordia University-Portland

 

Programs:

  • M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: Social Studies
  • M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: Environmental Education
  • M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: Curriculum & Instruction: Early Childhood Education
  • And more...

Bradley University

Established in 1897, Bradley University is a private, independent institution of higher learning in Peoria, Illinois. Inspired by our founder, notable philanthropist Lydia Moss Bradley, we pursue excellence in teaching, research, scholarship and service; and we celebrate leadership, integrity, diversity and collaborative learning.

Programs:

  • Online Doctor of Nursing Practice - Leadership Track (MSN to DNP)
  • Online Master of Science in Nursing (BSN to MSN-FNP)
  • Online Master of Arts in Counseling - Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC)
  • And more...

Northcentral University

  • Northcentral University was founded in 1996 to provide working professionals around the world with unprecedented access to richly engaging, professionally relevant, and academically-rigorous education from a U.S. university.

Programs:

  • International Business - D.B.A.
  • Leadership in Higher Education - EdS
  • MS Organizational Leadership - Nonprofit Management
  • And more...

The School of Architecture at Taliesin

The School of Architecture at Taliesin builds architects of the future by offering comprehensive study towards a professional Master of Architecture (M.Arch) degree. 

Programs:

  • Master of Architecture (M.Arch) Program

Related Post

How to Obtain a Career in Correctional Nursing

Choosing to become a corrections nurse is a decision that should not be taken lightly. A corrections nurse is responsible for attending to inmates at correctional facilities across the country.

Why Taking a NCLEX Refresher Course is Important

Every licensed nurse in the United States has gone through the grueling experience of taking the National Council Licensure Examination, or NCLEX, and most likely every nurse can verify that an NCLEX