Multiple myeloma is a blood cancer that starts in the plasma cells in the bone marrow. Bone marrow is the soft, spongy tissue found inside most bones. It helps make blood cells.
Plasma cells help your body fight infection by producing proteins called antibodies. With multiple myeloma, plasma cells grow out of control in the bone marrow and form tumors in the areas of solid bone. The growth of these bone tumors weakens the solid bones. It also makes it harder for the bone marrow to make healthy blood cells and platelets.
Plasma cell dyscrasia; Plasma cell myeloma; Malignant plasmacytoma; Plasmacytoma of bone; Myeloma - multiple
The cause of multiple myeloma is unknown. Past treatment with radiation therapy increases the risk for this type of cancer. Multiple myeloma mainly affects older adults.