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Myeloma

Myeloma is a type of blood cancer that affects white blood cells called plasma cells.

Newton, living with myeloma, working on his car

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:

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)
  • breathlessness
  • 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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Living well

Practical tips and real stories to help you with everyday life

Living well with or after blood cancer

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