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What is multiple myeloma?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
One type of blood cell cancer called multiple myeloma affects blood plasma cells, a type of cell involved in immunity. It causes tiny holes throughout bone that can weaken and fracture easily. As the cancerous cells become more abundant in the marrow, it crowds out healthy stem cells so they never have a chance to mature into healthy platelets, red blood cells and white blood cells. The Multiple Myeloma Tipoff: Chronic bone pain, back pain, unexplained fractures, anemia, frequent infections, and fatigue can be a sign of multiple myeloma.

Multiple myeloma is the most common type of myeloma. Myelomas are hematologic cancers caused by uncontrolled growth of plasma cells. As these plasma cells divide, they form a mass called a plasmacytoma. When there is only one such mass, the myeloma is called a solitary plasmacytoma. Much more commonly, plasmacytomas are present in many sites, and the myeloma is referred to as multiple myeloma. Approximately 90% of myelomas are multiple myeloma. Plasmacytomas (both solitary and those of multiple myeloma) are usually found in bone marrow, but they can potentially occur anywhere in the body.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.