Multiple myeloma is a cancer that affects plasma cells, a kind of white blood cell found in the soft insides of your bones, called marrow. Plasma cells are part of your body's immune system. They make antibodies to help fight off infections.
There is no cure for multiple myeloma, but treatment can often help you feel better and live longer. To make the best possible choices about your treatment and care, you'll want to learn as much as you can about the disease.
Incidence and Mortality
Estimated new cases and deaths from chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) in the United States in 2013:
New cases: 5,920.
CML is one of a group of diseases called the myeloproliferative disorders. Other related entities include the following:
(Refer to the PDQ summary on Chronic Myeloproliferative Disorders Treatment for more information.)
CML is a clonal disorder...
Your chances go up if you have other family members with multiple myeloma.
Other conditions can play a role, too. The diseases MGUS (monoclonal gammopathy of uncertain significance) and solitary plasmacytoma also affect plasma cells. People with these conditions need to watch for multiple myeloma.
You may not have any symptoms at first. As this cancer develops and plasma cells build up, though, you might have: