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Symptoms of Plasma Cell Leukemia

Symptoms of plasma cell leukemia are found in two – four percent of all plasma cell disorders. It is a rare and one of the most aggressive forms of human cancer. Malignancy originates in a type of white blood cells namely the plasma cells, associated with the large scale production of antibodies.

Owing to its extremely aggressive nature, the survival rate of this cancer is low. This article tries to gain further understanding on this rare cancer type.

Symptoms of Plasma Cell Leukemia:

  • Fever
  • Weakness
  • Bone Pain
  • Enlarged liver
  • Kidney failure
  • Enlarged spleen
  • Mental confusion
  • Loss of appetite
  • Palpatation – Shaking, rapid and irrugular beating or pulsation of the heart
  • Lymphadenopathy – A chronic abnormal enlargement of the lymph nodes
  • Leukocytosis – Abnormally large increase of white blood cells beyond the desired range

Facts on Plasma Cell Leukemia (PCL):

  • According to the World Health Organisation, the criterion for diagnosis of this cancer is that there should be more than 20 percent of these cells in the blood with an exact count of 2 × 109/L or more.
  • Prognosis of the disease is very poor with conventional therapies being not effective.
  • However, systematic chemotherapy coupled with supportive care are the normal treatment options with varying results.
  • 60-70 percent of the cases of this cancer are of primary type with average survival rate as low as 8-12 months.
  • Only stem cell transplantation is found as per certain research studies to be successful in improving the survival rate of the patients with primary PCL.
  • Unfortunately, patients suffering from secondary Plasma Cell Leukemia symptoms have even poor prognosis and survival rate compared to the primary patients.

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