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Myeloma

Diagram described below.

Multiple myeloma cells are abnormal plasma cells (a type of white blood cell) that build up in the bone marrow and form tumors in many bones of the body. Click to see a larger diagram.

© 2014 Terese Winslow LLC, U.S. Govt. has certain rights. Used with Permission. Contact artist at www.teresewinslow.com for licensing.

Myeloma is a cancer of the plasma cells. In myeloma, the cells grow too much, forming a mass or tumor that is located in the bone marrow. Bone marrow is the spongy tissue found in the center of the bone, where red cells, white blood cells, and platelets are made. Multiple myeloma is the most common form of myeloma.

What Causes Myeloma?

Scientists don’t understand why some people get myeloma and others don’t. Age is the most significant risk factor for developing myeloma. People younger than 45 years old rarely develop the disease. Men are more likely than women to develop myeloma, and myeloma is more than twice as common among black people as among white people. In rare cases, exposure to X-rays or other kinds of ionizing radiation may be a risk factor for developing myeloma.

What Are the Symptoms of Myeloma?

Sometimes myeloma does not cause any symptoms. It may be found when a blood or urine test is done for another condition. Symptoms of myeloma may include bone pain, especially in the back or ribs; bones that break easily; fever for no known reason; frequent infections; bruising or bleeding easily; trouble breathing; weakness of the arms or legs; and feeling very tired.

These symptoms can also come from other conditions. If you have any of them, talk to your doctor.

Statistics

The Data Visualizations tool makes it easy for anyone to explore and use the latest official federal government cancer data from United States Cancer Statistics. It includes the latest cancer data covering 100% of the U.S. population.

Map of the United States.

Cancer Rates by U.S. State

See rates or numbers of new myelomas or myeloma deaths for the entire United States and individual states. Also, see the top 10 cancers for men and women.

Bar chart of demographics.

Demographics

See rates or numbers of new myelomas or myeloma deaths by race/ethnicity, sex, and age group.

Line chart of trends.

Trends

See how the rates of new myelomas or myeloma deaths changed over time for the entire United States and individual states.

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