Other Names for this Disease
- Kahler disease
- Myeloma - multiple
- Plasma cell dyscrasia
- Plasma cell myeloma
Your QuestionWhat is the current understanding of the risk for developing multiple myeloma among first degree relatives of an affected person? For example, if a parent has been diagnosed with multiple myeloma, what is the risk to a child?
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Multiple myeloma (MM) usually occurs incidentally within a family, and very little is known about familial and/or hereditary forms. Several families have been reported with multiple cases of MM. The existence of hereditary MM is therefore suggested, but no causative heritable genetic mutations have been detected so far. Studies have found that a person's risk of MM may be higher if a close relative had the disease. First-degree relatives of individuals with MM have been reported to have a relative risk between two and four times higher than normal of developing MM; it is presumed the risks are higher for relatives in the case of familial MM (where multiple individuals have already been diagnosed). MM among married couples and "community clusters" of MM have also been described, suggesting the potential importance of environmental factors in the cause of MM as well.
Last updated: 4/20/2011
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- Henry T. Lynch and Stephan D. Thomé. Familial multiple myeloma. Blood. July 23, 2009; 14(4):749-750. http://bloodjournal.hematologylibrary.org/content/114/4/749.long. Accessed 4/20/2011.
- What You Need To Know About Multiple Myeloma. National Cancer Institute. November 20, 2008; http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/wyntk/myeloma. Accessed 7/6/2011.
- Henry T. Lynch et al. Familial Multiple Myeloma: a Family Study and Review of the Literature. 2001; 93(19):1479-1483. http://jnci.oxfordjournals.org/content/93/19/1479.full. Accessed 4/20/2011.