The news was confirmed by the actress’s husband, Anupam Kher on Twitter this morning (April 01).
Kher also wrote that his wife is undergoing treatment and recovering well, being looked after by a team of doctors. They also requested fans to keep the family in their prayers and hope that Kirron Kher emerges stronger than ever.
While no further comments have officially come out, it is speculated that the actress, who was reportedly undergoing treatment at KokilaBen Hospital, Mumbai has been suffering from health issues since Novemeber 2020. The same was reported by BJP MP Arun Sood in a press conference.
“She had suffered a broken left arm at her Chandigarh house on November 11 last year. After her medical tests at Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) in Chandigarh, she was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. The disease had spread to her left arm and right shoulder. For treatment, she had to go to Mumbai on December 4.”
— Anupam Kher (@AnupamPKher) 1617257982000
Multiple myeloma, a form of blood cancer is a rare disease that affects plasma cells in the body. While fewer cases are observed in India, it is said that multiple myeloma affects close to 50,000 people every year, globally.
Also referred to as Kahler’s disease, it is a type of blood cancer that impacts plasma (white blood cells) production in the body, which form an important part of immune system functioning and normally present around in the bone marrow. While healthy plasma cells help in fighting infections and generating antibodies, cancer-stricken plasma cells, in case of multiple myeloma accumulate over health cells and instead, create abnormal proteins which do not fight infections and can further lead to complications for the person.
The malignant, cancerous plasma cells produce a bad antibody called ‘M proteins’ which can unleash a host of damage, ranging from tumour growth, kidney damage, impair immune function as well as bone destruction.
When multiple myeloma starts to spread and cancerous cells multiply, there is lesser space for normal red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets in the body, which in turn, cause infections.
How does it affect your body? What are the signs and symptoms?
The most profound sign of multiple myeloma is a high marking of M proteins in the body.
Since abnormal, malignant cells stop healthy cell function, a person can start to experience chronic infections, blood disorders and bone damage. A decrease in blood cell capacity can also cause problems like anaemia, excessive bleeding, blood and kidney infections and make it harder for the immune system to do its job.
The cancerous myeloma can also cause destructive damage to the bones. Bone damage can cause lesions, pain and brittle bones, prone to breaking and injuries. In the absence of other signs and symptoms, sudden, unusual injuries, bruising and blood loss is the first sign that needs to be checked for. The signs of infection can not just vary, but appear very slowly and be hard to recognize during the early days.
Apart from this, below listed are some of the most commonly associated signs and symptoms of multiple myeloma:
-Bone pain (around the spine/chest)
-Weight loss and difficulty eating
-Feeling dehydrated and excessive thirst
-Weakness in the legs
-Gastrointestinal complaints, including nausea and constipation.
At a severe stage, it can cause a lot of complications including kidney disorder, low immunity, bone problems and low RBC count.
A person should consider visiting a doctor if they experience any of these symptoms for a persistent period without due cause.
Risk factors and causes
To date, it remains unclear as to what causes myeloma to spread in the body. However, much like other forms of cancer, multiple myeloma could be genetically different for every person
Most cases of multiple myeloma start off as benign and progress slowly, which is a form of monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS).
That being said, there are some risk factors that raise one’s risk of developing the condition
-Age, with most diagnosis happening post the age of 60
-Sex (Multiple myeloma most commonly strikes men)
-A previous family history
-Suffering from monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS)
Diagnosis and treatment
Again, with most cases starting off as benign, it can be harder for patients to actually identify tell-tale signs and symptoms of multiple myeloma at an early stage. Delay in diagnosis can also pose problems. Symptoms and signs can also appear similar to other conditions. However, there are some specific tests that can help present a better diagnosis, including blood and urine tests, bone marrow biopsy, imaging, scans, X-rays and genome sequencing. Chromosome analysis can also help in prognosis.
As for the treatment, there is no proven cure for myeloma which has been researched to work. However, there are many treatment options to manage the disease that can potentially lead to a symptom-free life.
From stem cell therapy, bone marrow transplant, trials and therapies, treatment plans are often also devised to suit personal needs.