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HealthInfo Aoraki-South Canterbury

Myeloma

Myeloma, also called multiple myeloma, is a cancer of plasma cells in the bone marrow.

Plasma cells are a type of white blood cell made in your bone marrow, which is found in the centre of large bones. In myeloma abnormal plasma cells build up in your bone marrow and release large amounts of a single antibody called a paraprotein.

Unlike many cancers, myeloma does not appear as a lump or tumour.

Myeloma can stop your bone marrow making enough healthy cells. It can also affect your kidneys.

Symptoms of myeloma include:

Myeloma is diagnosed using blood and urine tests, X-rays of bones and a bone marrow biopsy.

Treatment for myeloma varies and can include chemotherapy, radiotherapy and stem cell transplant.

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Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Endorsed by clinical director, Haematology, Canterbury DHB. Last reviewed May 2020.

See also:

Cancer

MGUS

What blood is made of

Page reference: 167452

Review key: HILEU-52883