Multiple myeloma

Alternative Names

Plasma cell dyscrasia; Plasma cell myeloma; Malignant plasmacytoma; Plasmacytoma of bone; Myeloma – multiple

Definition of Multiple myeloma

Multiple myeloma is of the plasma cells in bone marrow.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Plasma cells help the body’s immune system fight disease by producing proteins called antibodies. In multiple myeloma, plasma cells grow out of control in the bone marrow and form tumors in the areas of solid bone.

Signs and tests

Blood tests can help diagnose this disease. They may include:

Treatment

The goal of treatment is to relieve symptoms, avoid complications, and prolong life.

Expectations (prognosis)

Survival of people with multiple myeloma depends on the patient’s age and the stage of disease. Some cases are very aggressive, while others take years to get worse.

Review

David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; Yi-Bin Chen, MD, Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 3/2/2010

Cryoglobulinemia - of the fingers
Immune system structures
Antibodies

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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