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Multiple Myeloma

Let's Talk About Multiple Myeloma

We've got the doctor-approved scoop on multiple myeloma causes, symptoms, treatments, and a jillion other facts and tips that can make life with MM easier.

    Our Pro PanelMultiple Myeloma

    We went to some of the nation’s top experts in multiple myeloma to bring you the most up-to-date information possible.

    Cindy Varga, M.D. headshot.

    Cindy Varga, M.D.Medical Oncologist, Assistant Professor

    Tufts Medical Center, Tufts University School of Medicine
    Boston, MA
    Myo Htut, M.D. headshot.

    Myo Htut, M.D.Associate Clinical Professor of Hematology

    City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center
    Duarte, CA
    Faisal Saghir, M.D. headshot.

    Faisal Saghir, M.D.Hematologist and Medical Oncologist

    Northwestern Medicine Kishwaukee Hospital
    DeKalb, IL
    Multiple myeloma statistics: lifetime risk, age multiple myeloma cases occur, number of Americans with multiple myeloma, percentage of people who live 5 years after diagnosis, number of new cases per year
    Nikki Cagle
    Multiple myeloma symptoms include anemia, bone pain and fractures, excessive bleeding, high levels oof calcium, kidney problems, and numbness
    Nikki Cagle
    Common treatments for multiple myeloma include chemotherapy, targeted therapy, steroids, and bisphosphonates
    Nikki Cagle

    Frequently Asked QuestionsMultiple Myeloma

    What is multiple myeloma?

    Multiple myeloma (MM) is a type of blood cancer that occurs when certain white blood cells mutate and start growing out of control. People with MM develop tumors in their bone marrow that prevent healthy marrow from doing its job of making infection-fighting white blood cells and oxygen-carrying red blood cells.

    What causes multiple myeloma?

    Doctors don’t know exactly what causes multiple myeloma, but it likely comes down to DNA damage and chromosomal differences. Normal human cells have 46 chromosomes, but multiple myeloma cancer cells are often found to be either missing a part of one of chromosome, or have a mixed up order of chromosomes.

    Is multiple myeloma curable?

    No, it’s not considered curable—yet. But it is treatable. Many new treatments have been discovered in the last decade, and some doctors are starting to call it a “chronic” condition that can be managed successfully for years.

    Is multiple myeloma the same as Kahler disease?

    Yes. Multiple myeloma used to be known as Kahler (or Kahler’s) disease, named after Otto Kahler, the doctor who first discovered it in 1889. Other names for multiple myeloma are myelomatosis and plasma cell myeloma.

    Sunny Sea Gold

    Sunny Sea Gold

    @sunnyseagold

    Sunny is a health journalist, book author, and essayist living in Portland, OR.