Living with Multiple Myeloma

Multiple myeloma is cancer of the cells that make plasma in bone marrow. When these abnormal plasma cells build up in the bone, they can form tumors: a single tumor is a plasmacytoma; more than one is referred to as multiple myeloma. Approximately 22,000 new cases of multiple myeloma are diagnosed each year in the United States; survival rates vary greatly depending on the stage at which the cancer is caught.

Multiple myeloma is more common in males, African-Americans, and patients over 65 years old. Other risk factors for developing multiple myeloma include obesity, radiation exposure, certain workplace toxins, and family history. The early stages of multiple myeloma may not present symptoms; advanced stages may cause bone damage, kidney failure, fatigue from anemia, and high calcium levels in the blood. The stages of multiple myeloma range from I to III, depending on the presence of certain proteins in the blood. Multiple myeloma treatments include surgery, chemotherapy, drug therapy, biologic therapy, radiation, stem cell transplantation, or a combination of these.

For more information on multiple myeloma, read the American Cancer Society's detailed guide.

If you have been affected by multiple myeloma, please be sure to take some time to read others' experiences, share your own experiences, and ask or answer questions. Don't forget to view our Beginner's Guide to Cancer.

Most Active Multiple Myeloma WhatNexters

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Multiple Myeloma Questions

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  1. 8 days ago
    WNMyeloma's Avatar

    We asked this question on the pinboard, but thought we would put it here too. How have you handled the anxiety, stress, fear, etc that

    comes with a new cancer diagnosis? Please share any tips you may have for those who are newly di... Read More

    12 Answers - Answer -
  2. 8 days ago
    KancerKiller's Avatar

    Here is a Multiple Myeloma Doctor that was diagnosed with MM himself. This is unusual.

    I wish I could have a doctor that had the same kind of cancer that I have, it seems they would h... Read More

    5 Answers - Answer -
  3. 11 days ago
    WNMyeloma's Avatar

    Time to tell on yourself!! What's the funniest thing you've done that you blamed on Chemo Brain?

    I walked out of a store, and got right into a car, same color, same place mine was parked, I tho... Read More

    12 Answers - Answer -