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Multiple Myeloma

Myeloma, also known as multiple myeloma, is a cancer which affects the plasma cells, a type of white blood cell which is made in the bone marrow.

Normally, new plasma cells are produced to replace old, worn-out cells in an orderly and controlled way. They produce antibodies, also called immunoglobulins, to help fight infection.

However, in myeloma, the process gets out of control and abnormal amounts of plasma cells are produced releasing only one type of antibody – known as paraprotein – which has no useful function and can’t fight infection effectively. 

There are several types of myeloma including light lhain/Bence Jones, non-secretory myeloma, plasmacytoma, amyloidosis , MGUS and Waldenstrom's Mmcroglobulinaemia 

Doctors don’t know what causes myeloma but a number of things are known to increase the risk of developing it including age, race and high levels of exposure to radiation.

The most common symptom of myeloma is bone pain, especially in the spine but other bones may be affected such as the ribs, skull or pelvis.

Other symptoms include:

 

Next planned review: Under review