Your Health

Multiple Myeloma

Multiple myeloma is a form of cancer that affects the plasma cells in the marrow of the bone. Mainly older adults are the ones affected.1

In multiple myeloma, plasma cells grow out of control in the bone marrow and form tumours in the areas of solid bone. The growth of these bone tumours makes it harder for the bone marrow to make healthy blood cells and platelets.1

Symptoms
Multiple myeloma causes anemia. As the cancer cells grow in the bone marrow, pain, most often in the ribs or back can develop. If the bones in the spine are affected, it can put pressure on the nerves, resulting in numbness or weakness in the arms or legs.1

Other symptoms include:1

  • Bleeding problems
  • Fatigue due to anemia
  • Fevers without any other cause
  • Shortness of breath due to anemia
  • Unexplained broken bones

1. US National Library of Medicine. Disease conditions: Multiple Myeloma. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001609/, accessed April 4, 2012.

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