Multiple myeloma is a type of cancer that affects the plasma cells, which are a type of white blood cell that produce antibodies to help fight infections. In multiple myeloma, the abnormal plasma cells accumulate in the bone marrow and interfere with the production of normal blood cells.
The exact cause of multiple myeloma is unknown, but it is believed to be the result of genetic mutations in the plasma cells that cause them to become cancerous. Some risk factors for multiple myeloma include older age, male sex, exposure to certain chemicals or radiation, and a family history of the disease.
Symptoms of multiple myeloma can include bone pain, weakness, fatigue, recurrent infections, anemia, kidney problems, and abnormal bleeding. Some people with multiple myeloma may not have any symptoms early on in the disease.
Treatment for multiple myeloma typically involves a combination of chemotherapy, targeted therapy, radiation therapy, and stem cell transplantation. Other treatments, such as immunotherapy or corticosteroids, may also be used to help control the growth of abnormal plasma cells and manage symptoms.
The prognosis for multiple myeloma depends on several factors, including the stage of the cancer, the patient’s age and overall health, and how well the patient responds to treatment. While multiple myeloma is a serious condition, many people are able to manage the disease and achieve remission with appropriate treatment.