Overview of Myeloma

Multiple myeloma is one of the common types of hematological cancer. This begins as the plasma cells are increasing abnormally.

Myeloma, also known as multiple myeloma or Kahler’s disease,(Maghzi Salah/ مغزی سلعه ) is a cancer of the blood. Normally, white blood cells produce antibodies in order to attack infections and foreign particles. If a person is diagnosed with myeloma then abnormal growth of these cells begins and produces immunoglobulin in blood and bones. Later on, this accumulates in the body for subsequent damage to organs.
There is no permanent cure for myeloma but its treatment reduces the growth of cells and symptoms to control the disease.

Multiple Myeloma Prevalence

According to 2012 statistics, globally, almost 114,252 new cases and 80, 119 deaths have been reported of multiple myeloma per year. This comprises about 0.8% of new cases and 1% of deaths of all cancers. The survival rate of pancreatic cancer people in 2012 was estimated at 48.5% worldwide. Some people who have had transplants can survive up to 15 years or more.

Doctors Treating Myeloma

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Signs and Symptoms of Myeloma

Signs and symptoms of myeloma vary from person to person. At the early stage, the symptoms have not appeared. As the condition is getting worse then the following symptoms may include:

  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Mental confusion
  • Feeling bone pain, especially in your spine or chest
  • Constipation
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Numbness in legs
  • Excessive dehydration
  • Frequent infections
  • Weight loss

Causes of Myeloma

Scientists are still investigating what exactly causes myeloma. According to recent studies, any mutation in DNA can make cancerous plasma cells. Other findings of myeloma reveal that any abnormalities of some oncogenes (MYC) may cause plasma cell tumors earlier. Along with it, any changes in other genes (such as RAS) are more likely to cause myeloma in the bone marrow.

Following are the conditions that can be the reason for multiple myeloma by affecting the plasma cells.

  • Monoclonal Gammopathy: In this condition, plasma cells start to multiply one antibody to a greater extent. Myeloma is a form of this disorder.
  • Solitary Plasmacytoma:  This is similar to multiple myeloma. It stimulates a signal plasma cell growth more than many of them. Moreover, it can be possible inside or outside of the bone and also increase the risk of multiple myeloma.
  • Light Chain Amyloidosis:  This is due to unusual plasma cells in the bone marrow. Less number of cells are produced in this disease than in multiple myeloma.
  • Waldenstrom Macroglobulinemia: It is another form of both monoclonal gammopathy and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (lymph system cancer). The characteristics of these cancer cells are similar to plasma cells as well as lymphoid tissue.

Risk Factors of Myeloma

Many triggers increase the risk of multiple myeloma. Some are below:

  • Age- As age increases, multiple myeloma may affect people especially in the age of mid-60s.
  • Sex-Men suffer from multiple myeloma more than women.
  • Black Race- Multiple myeloma is more prevalent in black people than in white ones.
  • Family History- Multiple myeloma may be caused if a person had this cancer in the family like brothers, sisters, or parents.
  • Personal History of a Monoclonal Gammopathy of Undetermined Significance (MGUS)-If people had MGUS in life may develop multiple myeloma.

Multiple Myeloma Complications

Complications of multiple myeloma contribute following conditions


  • Infections- People become sensitive to infections due to multiple myeloma.
  • Bone Problems- Affects bones, leading to bone pain, thinning bones, and broken bones.
  • Kidney Function Problems- Multiple myeloma may cause a variety of kidney abnormalities like kidney failure.
  • Low Red Blood Cell Count (Anemia) - Myeloma cells affect the normal blood cells, due to which, leads to anemia and other blood problems.




There are the following measures that prevent multiple myeloma.

  • Make a habit of physical activities
  • Drink a lot of fluids
  • Add yogurt to the diet
  • Eat healthy and fresh foods
  • Performing meditation techniques such as yoga
  • Having massage therapy




Doctors may diagnose multiple myeloma when an individual undergoes a blood test for some other condition. In other cases, the disease can be diagnosed on the basis of signs and symptoms. Several tests for multiple myeloma are performed for its diagnosis which are below:
Blood Tests:  This is helpful for the identification of M proteins produced by myeloma cells as well as beta-2-microglobulin.
Furthermore, blood tests also check kidney function, blood cell counts, calcium levels, and uric acid levels. This gives a sign for further performing the tests of myeloma differential diagnosis.

  • Urine TestsThis test reveals the presence of M-proteins in the urine.
  • Bone Marrow Examination: In this test, a doctor removes the bone marrow sample for lab analysis. The sample is used for the examination of myeloma cells.

Other specialized tests, such as fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) can examine the myeloma cells for genetic abnormalities. Below are the tests for multiple myeloma diagnosis that measure the rate of division of myeloma cells.
Imaging Studies: A doctor may recommend imaging tests like X-ray, MRI, CT scan, or positron emission tomography (PET) for the association of bone problems.


Treatment of Myeloma | When to Consult a Doctor

Treatment for myeloma depends on several factors, including the stage and type of cancer, the patient's age and overall health, and the presence of any other medical conditions.

Some of the common treatments for myeloma include:

  • Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy involves using drugs to kill cancer cells. This treatment can be given orally or through an intravenous (IV) infusion.
  • Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy uses high-energy radiation to kill cancer cells. It may be used to shrink a tumor or to relieve pain caused by a bone lesion.
  • Stem cell transplant: A stem cell transplant involves replacing the patient's diseased bone marrow with healthy stem cells from a donor or from the patient's own body. This procedure may be used after chemotherapy or radiation therapy to help the body produce healthy blood cells.
  • Immunotherapy: Immunotherapy uses drugs that help the body's immune system fight cancer cells.
  • Targeted therapy: Targeted therapy uses drugs that target specific proteins or other molecules that are involved in the growth and spread of cancer cells.

Your Oncologist will help determine the best treatment plan for you based on your individual needs and circumstances.