Multiple Myeloma (MM) is the second most common type of blood cancer that originates in the plasma cells. Plasma cells play an important role in the immune system by producing antibodies. Together with B cells and T cells, plasma cells help fight against infections and disease. When plasma cells become cancerous, they grow abnormally and develop into multiple myeloma.
Common signs of multiple myeloma are low blood counts, weak bones, calcium problems, and increased susceptibility to infections and kidney problems. Multiple myeloma is a rare type of cancer and risk of developing multiple myeloma is less than 1%.
Men, African Americans, people ages over 65 and people with family history of multiple myeloma are at higher risk of developing multiple myeloma.
There are also other plasma cell disorders are not considered as multiple myeloma. These include monoclonal gammopathy of uncertain significance (MGUS), smoldering multiple myeloma (SMM), solitary plasmacytoma and light chain amyloidosis.