July 17, 2023

Blood Cancer (Myeloma)

July 17, 2023

Each year in the UK, around 5,700 people are diagnosed with myeloma. 

Myeloma is a blood cancer or bone marrow cancer coming from the plasma cells in the body. Plasma cells are a type of white blood cell made in the bone marrow. Plasma cells form part of your immune system, normal plasma cells produce antibodies, also called immunoglobulins to help fight infection. Faulty DNA causes the development of plasma cells causing them to be faulty and produces useless paraprotein in large amounts. It does not appear as a lump or a tumour, it’s related to the build up of the faulty plasma cells found in a simple blood test.  

Myeloma affects different parts of the body, which is why it’s referred to as ‘multiple’ myeloma. It affects the bone marrow or any part of the body where the bone is. 

Symptoms of myeloma include: 

  • bone pain  
  • recurring infection 
  • Kidney damage 
  • And fatigue. 

Is it treatable – YES, it is very effective at controlling the disease, relieving the symptoms of and problems and increases life expectancy. Unfortunately – myeloma is currently an incurable (terminal) cancer. 

There will be periods of remissions where the myeloma increases requiring treatment and then symptoms go away until another time only to come back later on. The only way to keep an eye on it is regular blood tests for life. 

For more information about Myeloma – Myeloma UK has a website – www.myeloma.org.uk

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