The risk of developing multiple myeloma depends on various modifiable and non-modifiable factors. Having these factors does not guarantee a multiple myeloma diagnosis; it only means one has a higher chance of developing this disease.
Although there is no specific diet for multiple myeloma, certain foods are reported to have a positive impact on recovery during multiple myeloma treatment, while others, on the other hand, are observed to have a negative impact.
Risk factors for multiple myeloma increase one’s chances of developing this condition. The following are some of the important multiple myeloma risk factors:
Multiple myeloma primarily affects older individuals, with the risk increasing significantly after the age of 65. The risk increases with age because of the accumulation of genetic changes in plasma cells over time.
Men are slightly more susceptible to multiple myeloma than women. This gender difference in risk is not fully understood but may be linked to hormonal variations.
Multiple myeloma is more prevalent among individuals of African descent. This racial disparity suggests genetic and environmental factors may contribute.
Having a family member who is diagnosed with multiple myeloma can increase one’s risk of developing this condition. Genetic factors play a significant role in the development of this cancer.
Having MGUS is one of the most important multiple myeloma risk factors. MGUS is considered a precursor condition to multiple myeloma. Individuals with MGUS have a higher risk of progressing to multiple myeloma over time.
Obesity is also observed to be one of the multiple myeloma risk factors. Adipose tissue can produce inflammatory molecules that may contribute to cancer development.
Being diagnosed with other plasma cell diseases like solitary plasmacytoma and Waldenström macroglobulinemia, which are related to multiple myeloma, may increase the risk of its development.
A balanced diet is the best diet for multiple myeloma. Certain foods are going to positively impact the treatment response, help patients remain strong throughout their treatment, and support a better recovery after the treatment.
Leafy greens like spinach, kale, and collard greens are rich in vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber. They support overall health and can help mitigate the side effects of multiple myeloma treatments.
A diet high in fiber from whole grains, legumes, and vegetables aids digestion and helps maintain a healthy weight, which is important for managing multiple myeloma.
During treatment, some individuals experience nausea and mouth sores. Opting for bland, easy-to-digest foods like rice, plain yogurt, and oatmeal can provide essential nutrients without exacerbating discomfort.
Iron is crucial for preventing anemia, a common complication of multiple myeloma. Including iron-rich foods like lean meats, beans, and fortified cereals in the diet can help multiple myeloma patients manage their diet.
Consume a diverse range of fruits and vegetables to ensure you get a spectrum of essential vitamins and minerals, supporting your immune system and overall health.
Adequate vitamin D intake is essential for bone health, especially as multiple myeloma can weaken bones. Your healthcare provider may recommend supplements if your levels are low.
Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil have anti-inflammatory properties, which help reduce inflammation and positively impact the treatment response.
Foods rich in folate, such as leafy greens, lentils, and fortified cereals, can help in the production of healthy cells in the bone marrow.
Not all foods are good for myeloma. Foods to avoid during the myeloma treatment include those that increase the infection risk. those that increase the infection risk. It is important for myeloma patients to be careful about infections, as they may have poor immunity during the treatment, and these infections may become life-threatening for them.
Avoid consuming raw or undercooked meat and fish to minimize the risk of foodborne illnesses. Cooking these foods thoroughly is crucial.
To reduce the risk of salmonella infection, steer clear of eggs with runny yolks. One must opt for fully-cooked eggs instead.
Unpasteurized beverages, including some fruit juices and milk, may contain harmful pathogens. Therefore, it is important to consume pasteurized beverages.
Consumption of raw fish poses a risk of infection, especially for individuals with weakened immune systems due to multiple myeloma or its treatments. Therefore, it is important to avoid sushi during the treatment.
It is necessary to wash all fruits and vegetables before consumption to remove potential contaminants.
It's important to understand that while certain factors increase the risk of multiple myeloma, the disease can affect anyone. However, individuals at higher risk should be particularly careful about their health and consider regular check-ups.
Multiple myeloma is a multifaceted disease influenced by various factors, including age, gender, race, genetics, and family history. Adhering to a balanced diet rich in greens, fiber, and essential nutrients can significantly contribute to overall well-being. Additionally, avoiding risky dietary practices can help maintain health during the management of multiple myeloma. Regular medical checkups and early detection are key to effectively managing the condition.