Multiple myeloma is a cancer that forms in a type of white blood cell called a plasma cell. Healthy plasma cells help you fight infections by making antibodies that recognize and attack germs.
In multiple myeloma, cancerous plasma cells accumulate in the bone marrow and crowd out healthy blood cells. Rather than produce helpful antibodies, the cancer cells produce abnormal proteins that can cause complications. Signs and symptoms of multiple myeloma can vary and, early in the disease, there may be none. Some symptoms like; bone pain especially in your spine or chest, nausea, constipation, loss of appetite, weight loss and many more.
Causes of Multiple Myeloma
It’s not clear what causes myeloma but here are four factors that may increase a persons risk to having Multiple Myeloma.
Increasing age: Your risk of multiple myeloma increases as you age, with most people diagnosed in their mid-60s.
Personal history of a monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS): Multiple myeloma almost always starts out as MGUS, which is marked by M proteins produced by abnormal plasma cells — in your blood. So having this condition increases your risk.
Race and gender: Men are more likely to develop the disease than are women and Black people are more likely to develop multiple myeloma than are people of other races.
Genetics: Family history of multiple myeloma. If a brother, sister or parent has multiple myeloma, you have an increased risk of the disease.
When to see a doctor: Make an appointment with your doctor if you have any persistent signs and symptoms that worry you.