Myeloma – An Introduction

This Infoguide is designed to be an introduction to myeloma and can be used by anybody who is looking to learn about the condition. You or someone you know may have been diagnosed or are being tested for a possible diagnosis. If you need an overview about myeloma and what the diagnosis means, this Infoguide is for you. 

This Infoguide covers key questions about myeloma, such as:  

  • What is myeloma? 
  • What causes myeloma? 
  • What different types of myeloma are there? 
  • What tests and investigations might I have? 
  • What are the symptoms and complications of myeloma? 
  • How is myeloma treated? 
  • How do I know if my treatment is working? 
  • What is the likely prognosis after a myeloma diagnosis? 
  • What happens if I relapse? 
  • How can I live well with myeloma? 

Key points you can read about in this Infoguide include:  

  • Myeloma is a type of blood cancer that arises from a type of white blood cell called a plasma cell 
  • In the UK, there are over 24,000 people living with myeloma, and about 5,900 people are diagnosed each year.  
  • Myeloma is more common in older people, but 1 in 4 myeloma patients are diagnosed under the age of 65 
  • The exact cause of myeloma is unknown but it is believed that a combination of inherited and environmental factors cause the genetic abnormalities which result in myeloma 
  • A combination of tests are used to diagnose, monitor and stage myeloma, including blood, urine, bone marrow and imaging tests 
  • Myeloma can cause symptoms such as bone pain, fractures, fatigue and frequent or recurrent infections 
  • There is currently no cure for myeloma but there are many treatments available that aim to bring the myeloma under control and improve quality of life 
  • Myeloma follows a relapsing-remitting pattern, where successful treatment can bring the myeloma into remission, but it is likely it will come back again 
  • It is difficult to predict how long remissions will last or how many times you will relapse, but improved treatment options are helping more patients achieve long-lasting remissions 
  • Living with myeloma can have an enormous emotional impact. Myeloma UK is here for everything a diagnosis of myeloma brings 

Myeloma UK Myeloma an Introduction

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