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Like other cells and body tissues, plasma cells can also get sick. When exposed to plasma cell disease, a person can experience anemia and other symptoms, such as frequent fatigue, difficulty swallowing, diarrhea, dizziness and headaches, and weight loss
Plasma cells are a type of white blood cell that function to build the body's resistance by producing large amounts of antibodies. Each plasma cell is capable of releasing thousands of antibody molecules when needed.
After being released into the blood and lymph channels, antibody molecules produced by plasma cells will bind and destroy harmful substances or foreign objects that enter the body, such as germs, viruses, or toxic substances.
Recognizing the Types of Plasma Cell Diseases
When plasma cells grow and change abnormally, this can lead to the formation of tumors or plasma cell neoplasms. When experiencing this disorder, plasma cells in the body will multiply excessively and uncontrollably.
Plasma cell neoplasms can be benign or malignant. Abnormal plasma cells can also cause bone marrow and kidney disorders.
Plasma cell neoplasms are more common in middle-aged men. In addition, this disease tends to occur more often in people who are frequently exposed to radiation or toxic chemicals and in people who have a family history of plasma cell neoplasms.
There are several types of neoplasms in plasma cells, including:
Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS)
This condition is not classified as cancer, but has the potential to become cancer. MGUS occurs when abnormal plasma cells produce an antibody called an M protein in excess.
The emergence of MGUS is usually harmless. However, if not treated properly, this condition is at risk of causing various serious he alth problems, such as disorders of the nerves, heart, or kidneys. MGUS can also cause complications in the form of amyloidosis, multiple myeloma, leukemia, and lymphoma.
Plasmacytoma occurs when the abnormal growth of plasma cells forms a tumor in a certain part of the body. Plasmacytoma can be categorized into 2 types, namely:
- Plasmacytoma isolated in bone
In this condition, less than 10 percent of the bone marrow is made up of plasma cells, but none of them cause cancer symptoms. Plasmacytoma in bone can cause bone pain and make bones break easily.
- Extramedullary plasmacytoma
This type of plasma cell neoplasm occurs in soft tissue, not in bone or bone marrow. These tumors can press and cause pain or other disturbances in the area of growth of the tumor. For example, a tumor in the throat can make it difficult for the sufferer to swallow food (dysphagia).
Multiple myeloma is a type of bone marrow cancer. This disease usually does not form a tumor or lump. Myeloma cells grow and spread within the bone marrow thereby interfering with the production of he althy blood cells.
Generally this condition affects various parts of the body, such as the skull, ribs, and pelvis. This condition can have a bad impact if it has reached an advanced stage, namely:
- Fatigue and shortness of breath due to anemia
- Kidney problem
- bones crack easily
- bruising, bleeding gums, and abnormal bleeding
- Constantly recurring infections
Most plasma cell neoplasms do not cause obvious complaints. However, in some cases, this disease can cause certain symptoms, such as easy fatigue, swollen tongue, purplish spots on the skin, frequent bruising, diarrhea, or body swelling.
Because it can cause various he alth problems, plasma cell neoplasms need to be checked by a doctor.
To determine the diagnosis of plasma cell neoplasm and its type, the doctor can perform a physical examination and supporting tests, such as blood tests, including complete blood tests and tests to assess the amount of immunoglobulins, biopsies, urine tests, and radiological examinations, including MRI or CT scan.
Treatment of plasma cell neoplasms can also vary. To treat this condition, doctors can provide treatment in the form of medication, such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, stem cell transplantation, and surgery.
If you feel the symptoms of plasma cell disease as mentioned above, it is advisable to immediately consult a doctor, so that the doctor can confirm it and provide the right treatment.