Myeloma is a type of blood cancer that affects white blood cells called plasma cells.
Myeloma at a glance
What is myeloma?
When you have myeloma, your body finds it hard to fight off infections. It develops when too many abnormal plasma cells collect in your bone marrow.
Myeloma is more common in older people. Children don’t get myeloma, and it’s rare in people under 40.
Over 5,000 people are diagnosed each year in the UK.
Read more about myeloma.
Causes of myeloma
We don’t know exactly what causes myeloma, but there are some things that may increase your risk, including:
- family history
- monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS).
Learn more about the causes of myeloma.
Symptoms and diagnosis of myeloma
People with myeloma may experience a range of symptoms, including:
- feeling sick (nausea)
- extreme tiredness (fatigue)
- bone pain.
If your doctor suspects you have myeloma, they'll run a series of tests to help them diagnose you.
Find more about the symptoms and diagnosis of myeloma.
Treatment and side effects for myeloma
Depending on your symptoms and stage of your condition, you may not need treatment.
You may be put on ‘watch and wait’ – where you are carefully monitored by your healthcare team.
If you need treatment, you may have chemotherapy alongside steroids and biological therapies. You may then go on to have a stem cell transplant or a further combination of drugs.
Find out more about treatment and side effects for myeloma.
Prognosis for myeloma
Myeloma is not usually considered a curable disease, but it is very treatable.
Read about things that might affect your prognosis for myeloma.
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