What is Myeloma?

  • Myeloma is cancer of the plasma cells.
  • Plasma cells are white blood cells that produce disease- and infection-fighting antibodies in your body.
  • Myeloma cells prevent the normal production of antibodies, leaving your body’s immune system weakened and susceptible to infection.
  • The multiplication of myeloma cells also interferes with the normal production and function of red and white blood cells.
  • An abnormally high amount of these dysfunctional antibodies in the bloodstream can cause kidney damage.
  • Additionally, the myeloma cells commonly produce substances that cause bone destruction, leading to bone pain and/or fractures.
  • Myeloma cells are produced in the bone marrow, the soft tissue inside your bones.
  • Sometimes myeloma cells will travel through your blood stream and collect in other bones in your body.
  • Because myeloma frequently occurs at many sites in the bone marrow, it is often referred to as multiple myeloma.