Multiple myeloma is a rare cancer that begins in a type of white blood cell called the plasma cell. Plasma cells are found in the bone marrow.
Myeloma cells collect in the bone marrow and the outer layer of the bone. Because the cells begin in the blood plasma, myeloma is not a bone cancer, but is cancer that affects bones.
Myeloma can cause bone pain, fractures, and weakness. These may be symptoms of other bone disorders, so your doctor will use X-rays, blood and urine tests, and biopsy to confirm your diagnosis.
Your treatment plans depends on your age and health, and the extent of the disease. You may need surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or a combination of these.
Side effects are common during cancer treatment, and they vary from person to person. Your health care team will work to ease the side effects that you experience.
Learn more about multiple myeloma from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Physician Data Query (PDQ®) for patients. It includes information about prevention, screening, and treatment.