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Myeloma, also known as Multiple Myeloma (MM), is a cancer of the plasma cells and can spread throughout the rest of the body. In myeloma, the white blood cells, or plasma cells, that fight off infections grow too much, causing crowding in the bone marrow where red blood cells, platelets, and other white blood cells live. 

Risk Factors

Unfortunately, the risk factors of myeloma are still not as well-known or understood. However, there are certain factors can increase your chances of developing myeloma such as: being overweight or obese, age, gender, family history of myeloma, and having other plasma cell diseases such as monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS). 



During the early stages of myeloma, symptoms might not make an appearance. When the signs do start materializing, they can include the following: bone pain, especially spine, chest, or hips, nausea, constipation, loss of appetite, mental fogginess or confusion, tiredness, infections, weight loss, weakness, thirst, constant need to urinate. 



Diagnosing for myeloma includes tests and exams such as blood tests (CBC panel), urine tests, bone marrow biopsy and aspiration, or imaging. These will help your healthcare provider determine which stage of myeloma you are currently in.  



Treating myeloma consists of managing symptoms and bettering quality of life. Unfortunately, myeloma cannot be treated and additional treatment might be needed when the cancer returns. When treating the initial round of myeloma, the treatment types are broken into two methods: intensive and non-intensive. These methods consist of chemotherapy, steroids, oral or injectable medication, or stem cell transplants. For any relapses, a secondary stem cell transplant (if the initial was successful) might be needed and additional medication.  


Since the risk factors are not well understood, neither are the methods of preventing myeloma. Though there are lifestyle changes one can make to reduce the chances of developing myeloma such as avoiding harmful chemicals, getting regular screenings after the age of 50, being physically active, and eating a balanced diet. 

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