My myeloma has returned

Myeloma is an incurable and relapsing cancer and if you’re on this page then you or someone you know may have recently relapsed. Like diagnosis, we know relapses can be a scary and overwhelming time so we hope this page will help answer some of your questions.


On this page you’ll find information about why myeloma relapses, the different treatment options available to you at different relapses and ways to connect with others who know what you’re going through.

Why does myeloma relapse?

Myeloma is a relapsing-remitting cancer, which sets it apart from many other cancers. ‘Relapsing-remitting’ means there are periods when the myeloma is active and causing problems in the body and needs to be treated. Treatment aims to bring the myeloma back under control and provide a period of remission or plateau (where the myeloma is under control at a steady level).

Unlike many cancers, myeloma does not exist as a lump or tumour. This means that myeloma is challenging to treat. It can’t be removed or be selectively treated. As a result, current treatments are unable to remove all traces of myeloma from the body. Consequently, the remaining cells grow over time and eventually the myeloma and its symptoms return.

Key information for relapse

1st relapse

2nd relapse

3rd relapse and beyond

Treatment options

There’s a range of different treatment options available at each relapse. View our treatment information collections for more information about each treatment option.

Help and support

If you need more information, practical advice or a little extra support, reach out to our team of Myeloma Information Specialists or speak to someone who knows what you’re going through.

Be part of our community

There’s lots of ways to become part of the myeloma community and connect with others who know what you’re going through.

Recent news

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Speak to one of our Myeloma Information Specialists

If you need information, emotional support, practical advice or just a listening hear, our Myeloma Information Specialists are here for you. You can call them on 0800 980 3332 (Mon – Fri, 9-5) or email them on askthenurse@myeloma.org.uk