Multiple myeloma is difficult to diagnose in the early stage because it has few or no symptoms, but about 500 people are diagnosed with the cancer annually in Taiwan, the Hope Foundation for Cancer Care said yesterday.
A 70-year-old man surnamed Chen (陳) fell from his scooter about two years ago and was told by a doctor that his bone density was low when he went to the hospital for an examination.
As he also has chronic anemia, the physician referred him to National Taiwan University Hospital’s Division of Hematology and Oncology.
He was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, which causes bone erosion and bone pain.
Chen, who is a dentist, said that he exercises regularly and has a healthy daily routine, but has a slightly low hemoglobin count.
He later noticed that his body ached when he tried to lift his granddaughter in his arms.
Huang Shang-yi (黃聖懿), an attending physician in the division, said that multiple myeloma is a relatively rare cancer that occurs when plasma cells in the bone marrow become cancerous and grow out of control.
Multiple myeloma most commonly occurs in people between the ages of 65 and 70, with men about two times more likely to be diagnosed than women, he said.
It is the third-most prevalent blood cancer in the nation, with about 500 cases diagnosed every year, he said.
As typical symptoms — including bone pain, anemia, foamy urine and hypercalcemia (having more calcium in the blood than normal) — are often associated with other chronic diseases, most patients are only diagnosed at a late stage, mostly because of worsening pain or a bone fracture, Huang said.
The foundation and hospital conducted a survey to better understand the social and mental support needed for multiple myeloma patients, and discovered that their physiological discomfort seriously affects their daily lives, foundation deputy executive director Cheng Kai-yun (鄭凱芸) said.
Although the prevalence of multiple myeloma appears to be on the rise, the survival rate of patients on proper treatment has gradually improved to about five to seven years from about two to three years in the past, and a small proportion of patients survive more than 10 years, Huang said.
SPEEDING ELETRIC VEHICLES: Available without license requirements, the low-cost vehicles, especially if illicitly modified, can often reach a dangerous speed The government should crack down on illegal electric bicycles and scooters, the non-profit Consumers’ Foundation said on Friday, citing research on the potentially dangerous speed of the vehicles. Electric bicycles and lightweight electric scooters have gained popularity as they do not require registration and riders do not need licenses, the foundation said, adding that as many as 40 percent of them can reach speeds exceeding the legal limit of 25kph for non-licensed two-wheelers. Some consumers also purchased legal electric vehicles and modified them to reach higher speeds, it said. “If the government does not step up efforts to confiscate these
DIPLOMATIC MOVES: Beijing is reportedly pressing the state after reports of forming links with Taiwan, while the ministry is also planning to reopen its office in Guam soon A representative office is set to open in Somaliland at the end of this month, at the earliest, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday amid reports that Beijing is sending a diplomatic delegation to the east African country. The ministry on July 1 announced that Taiwan and Somaliland would establish representative offices, following a report by the Somaliland Chronicle Web site. It said at the time that the two nations did not plan to establish formal ties. Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi has instructed close confidants to explore the possibility of “mutual recognition between Taiwan and Somaliland,” the Somaliland Chronicle reported
A Belgian man who tested positive for COVID-19 in Taiwan last week is likely to have contracted the disease in Taipei in late June, National Taiwan University (NTU) College of Public Health vice dean Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Saturday reported that the man, who is in his 20s, came to Taiwan for work on May 3 and tested positive on Wednesday last week as he was about to depart. The man in March reported loss of taste and smell, the center said, adding that he worked in Changhua County, but visited Taipei several times,
NEW CASE REPORTED: A man who returned from South Africa on a flight with the nation’s 460th and 461st cases has now tested positive for the disease The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said that there is no need to test all arrivals to the nation for COVID-19, a policy the Executive Yuan supports. The center reported one new imported case, bringing the nation’s tally of confirmed cases to 477. The new case is a Taiwanese man in his 60s who on July 25 returned from South Africa, said Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), who is also the CECC’s spokesman. The man had returned to Taiwan on the same flight as cases Nos. 460 and 461, reported on July 27, Chuang said. On July 24,