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On August 30, 2017
Last modified:August 30, 2017


Cancer begins when cells in the body start to grow out of control. Cells in closely any part of the body can become cancer and can expand to other parts of the body. To know more about how cancers begin and expand, see What Is Cancer?

Multiple myelomas are cancer found by poisonous plasma cells. Ordinary plasma cells are found in the bone marrow and are a significant part of the immune system.

Multiple Myeloma Cancer

The immune system is made up of diverse types of cells that work together to fight inflammation and other diseases. Lymphocytes (lymph cells) are the principal cell type of the immune system. The important types of lymphocytes are T cells and B cells.

When B cells greet to an inflammation, they have grown up and altered into plasma cells. Plasma cells make the antibodies (also called immunoglobulins) that help the body effect and destroy germs. Lymphocytes are in many parts of the body, like lymph nodes, the bone marrow, the intestines, and the bloodstream. Plasma cells, however, are mostly found in the bone marrow. Bone marrow is the flexible tissue inside some unfilled bones. Besides plasma cells, normal bone marrow has cells that make the several normal blood cells.

Multiple Myeloma Cancer - Causes - Symptoms and Treatment

When plasma cells become cancerous and develop out of control, they can grow a tumor called a plasmacytoma. These tumors normally grow in a bone, but they are also seldom developed in other tissues. If someone has only a one plasma cell tumor, the infection is called an isolated (or solitary) plasmacytoma. If someone has more than one plasmacytoma, they have multiple myeloma.

Multiple Myeloma Cancer Causes

No one knows what causes multiple myeloma. But you’re more likely to get it if:

  • You’re African-American
  • You’re older than 65
  • You have a family member with it

If you have one these other plasma cell diseases, you may be more probably to get multiple myeloma:

Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS)
Solitary plasmacytoma

Multiple Myeloma Cancer Symptoms

Early on, multiple myeloma may cause no omen. As time passes, you could notice:

  1. Weakness
  2. Bone pain
  3. Fatigue
  4. Weight loss

In odd cases, plasma cells can produce purplish mass that you can see underneath your skin. Your doctor will call them extramedullary plasmacytomas.

Multiple Myeloma Cancer - Causes - Symptoms and Treatment

Getting A Diagnosis

Your doctor may check you for multiple myeloma if a blood test shows you have:

  • High calcium levels in your blood (your doctor will call it hypercalcemia)
  • Anemia (too few red blood cells)
  • Kidney problems
  • High protein levels in your blood combined with a low albumin level (your doctor might say you have a “globulin gap”)

If your doctor imagines you have multiple myeloma, he’ll test your blood, urine, and bones. Some tests he may order include:

  • Electrophoresis, which measures immunoglobulin
  • Blood urea nitrogen, also known as BUN, and creatinine.
  • These check how well your kidneys are working.
  • A CBC, which stands for complete blood count. It measures and counts the cells in your blood.

After your test results come in, your doctor might want to do a bone marrow biopsy. He’ll put a needle into a bone, usually in your pelvis, to get a sample of bone marrow to test the number of plasma cells in it.

Multiple Myeloma Cancer - Causes - Symptoms and Treatment

He’ll probably also desire you to get X-rays. They can express place of bone weakened by multiple myeloma. Sometimes you may also require a CT scan, MRI, or PET scan.

Multiple Myeloma Cancer Treatment


Many drugs and types of drugs are used to cure multiple myeloma.

Chemotherapy: You might be gained it alone or paired with another drug. The types of chemo most often used to treat multiple myeloma are:

  • Cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan)
  • Doxorubicin (Adriamycin)
  • Melphalan (Alkeran)
  • Liposomal doxorubicin (Doxil)
  • Panobinostat (Farydak)

Corticosteroids: If you’re getting chemo, the doctor might authorize dexamethasone or prednisone to lessen side effects.

Stem cell transplant: It won’t work for everyone, but if your doctor examines you’re a well suitable for it, they may begin with a stem cell transplant. They will use a machine to remove some of your stem cells, then freeze and store them. Or they may use stem cells taken from a donor.

Multiple Myeloma Cancer - Causes - Symptoms and Treatment


Next, you gained high-dose chemotherapy. This will kill nearly all the cells in your bone marrow — both healthy cells and the plasma cells that cause the disease. Then the doctor will introduce the stem cells into your veins. They move to the bone marrow, where they reproduce and make new, healthy blood cells.

Stem cell transplantation doesn’t treat multiple myeloma, but it often assists you live longer. It can also cause a grave problem. For example, it can make you more suitable to get inflammation.

Targeted Therapies

These get target proteins, genes, or tissues and stop cancer from developing.

Immunomodulatory drugs reinforce your immune cells to help them kill cancer cells. They also assist starve the myeloma cells in your bone marrow by stopping new blood vessels from forming:

  • Lenalidomide (Revlimid)
  • Pomalidomide (Pomalyst)
  • Thalidomide (Thalomid)

Monoclonal antibodies assist your immune system spot and kill myeloma cells. You might call your doctor call this immunotherapy:

  • Daratumumab (Darzalex)
  • Elotuzumab (Explicit)