Plasma cells are a type of white blood cell. They are found in bone marrow but can also form in the spleen, lymph nodes, and other sites. These cells normally transform into a type of lymphocyte called B cells, which produce antibodies and protect the organism against microbes and viruses. But what if these cells grow out of control? That is basically what multiple myeloma is.
You can see multiple myeloma as tumors formed in the bone marrow, but they can be different from other types of malignant growths or cancers. These tumors block the production of normal blood cells, which can lead to anemia, infections, and bleeding.
So multiple myeloma has various manifestations, and they depend on many factors at play. In this article, we’re looking at this disease and making it simple for patients and their caregivers to understand. After reading, you will know about the types of multiple myeloma, their signs and symptoms, treatment, and more.
How common is multiple myeloma in the United States?
Multiple myeloma is a type of cancer that originates in the plasma cells in the bone marrow. Most people who develop this cancer are over 65 years of age, and the median age of diagnosis is 69 years old. The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 34,000 new cases of multiple myeloma will be diagnosed at the end of 2022 and that this disease will trigger about 12,000 deaths in the United States alone.
As mentioned above, it is a type of hematologic cancer that accounts for around 10% of blood cancers, according to recent statistics. It only affects 0.8% of the population, and it is more common in African American men and women, but they are more commonly men. The population with the lowest risk is Asian, while Hispanics and Whites are in-between.
What is multiple myeloma?
It is a type of hematologic cancer that affects the bone marrow and can affect the body’s ability to make new blood cells. Multiple myeloma is a type of cancer that develops in plasma cells. As a type of cancer that is found in the blood, multiple myeloma is not always apparent in the same way as solid cancers.
There are sometimes tumors forming in the bone marrow, but not necessarily so. And still, there are alterations in how blood cells are formed, and patients experience different alterations. That’s why multiple myeloma can cause various symptoms, including fatigue, fever, anemia, bleeding, spinal cord compression syndromes, pain in bones or joints, weakness, weight loss, and much more.