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Diseases

Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

Multiple myeloma


Other Names for this Disease
  • Plasma cell myeloma
  • Kahler disease
  • Myelomatosis
  • Plasma cell dyscrasia
  • Myeloma - multiple
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Overview

Multiple myeloma is a form of cancer that occurs due to abnormal and uncontrolled growth of plasma cells in the bone marrow. Some people with multiple myeloma, especially those with early stages of the condition, have no concerning signs or symptoms. When present, the most common symptom is anemia, which can be associated with fatigue and shortness of breath. Other features of the condition may include multiple infections; abnormal bleeding; bone pain; weak and/or easily broken bones; and numbness and/or weakness of the arms and legs.[1][2][3] The exact underlying cause of multiple myeloma is currently unknown. Factors that are associated with an increased risk of developing multiple myeloma include increasing age, male sex, African American race, radiation exposure, a family history of the condition, obesity, and/or a personal history of monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS).[1][2][4] Treatment varies based on many factors, but may include one or more of the following interventions: chemotherapy, corticosteroid medications, targeted therapy, stem cell transplant, biological therapy, radiation therapy, surgery and/or watchful waiting.[2][1][3]
Last updated: 3/12/2016

References

  1. Dhaval Shah, MD. Multiple Myeloma. Medscape Reference. February 2016; http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/204369-overview.
  2. Multiple Myeloma. American Cancer Society. January 2016; http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/MultipleMyeloma/DetailedGuide/index.
  3. Plasma Cell Neoplasms (Including Multiple Myeloma) Treatment. National Cancer Institute. October 2015; http://www.cancer.gov/types/myeloma/patient/myeloma-treatment-pdq.
  4. Multiple Myeloma. Mayo Clinic. December 2015; http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/multiple-myeloma/basics/definition/con-20026607.
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Basic Information

  • The American Cancer Society provides information on Multiple myeloma. Please click on the link to access this resource.
  • Mayo Clinic has an information page on Multiple myeloma.
  • MedlinePlus was designed by the National Library of Medicine to help you research your health questions, and it provides more information about this topic.
  • The Merck Manuals Online Medical Library provides information on this condition for patients and caregivers. 
  • The National Cancer Institute provides the most current information on cancer for patients, health professionals, and the general public.
  • The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) is a federation of more than 130 nonprofit voluntary health organizations serving people with rare disorders. Click on the link to view information on this topic.

In Depth Information

  • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
  • Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) is a catalog of human genes and genetic disorders. Each entry has a summary of related medical articles. It is meant for health care professionals and researchers. OMIM is maintained by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. 
  • Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs. Access to this database is free of charge.
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Multiple myeloma. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.
Other Names for this Disease
  • Plasma cell myeloma
  • Kahler disease
  • Myelomatosis
  • Plasma cell dyscrasia
  • Myeloma - multiple
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.