What is Multiple Myeloma

Myeloma CellsMultiple Myeloma
is a hematologic cancer or blood cancer. It is the second most common blood cancer, after non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and represents approximately 1% of all cancers in white individuals and 2% of all cancers in black individuals.. Myeloma is literally an “oma” or tumor, involving the “myelo” or blood-producing cells in the bone marrow. The cells that are affected are plasma cells (a type of white blood cell), which are our antibody producing cells. A malignant or cancerous plasma cell is called a a myeloma cell. (Sources: IMF, MMRF)

Myeloma is called “multiple” since there are frequently multiple patches or areas in the bones where tumors or lesions have developed. (from the International Myeloma Foundation)

 More specifically, multiple myeloma is an uncontrolled growth of plasma cells in the bone marrow. Although there is no known cure, there are many approaches to help myeloma patients live better and longer.

 A course of treatment is dependent on the specifics of the patient’s physical, emotional, and family situation and the variant strain of myeloma involved. New treatment protocols are constantly being tested and offered to both new and relapsed patients.