What Is Multiple Myeloma?
Multiple myeloma is a type of blood cancer. It starts in your bone marrow, the spongy tissue inside bones. This is where your body makes blood cells, including a certain type called plasma cells. These cells can grow out of control and crowd out the normal, healthy ones in your bone marrow. When they build up, they form a tumor. The name “multiple myeloma” means there is more than one tumor.
Scientists aren’t sure what causes multiple myeloma. It might be linked to changes in DNA. But they do know that some people have a higher chance of getting the disease than others. Things that make your risk go up include:
Age. Most people with multiple myeloma are 45 or older. More than half are 65 or older.
Race. The disease is nearly twice as common in African-Americans.
Being male. It’s slightly more common in men.
Other people in your family have had multiple myeloma.
You’ve had another plasma cell disease.