March kicks off Myeloma Awareness Month, an initiative started by the International Myeloma Foundation in 2009. Myeloma is a rare blood cancer that affects many Medisafers and we wanted to take some time to spread the word.
What is Myeloma?
- Myeloma is a hematological (blood) cancer that develops in plasma cells
- The body makes too many plasma cells which results in less space for healthy red and white blood cells as well as platelets
- Myeloma is the 2nd most common blood cancer (the first being non-Hodgkin lymphoma)
- 30,280 new cases in 2017 in the US1
- Lifetime risk: 1 in 143 in the US
- There are 12 different molecular types of multiple myeloma, each with their own risk levels
- Bone pain (in the back or ribs)
- Frequent infections
- Easy bruising or bleeding
- Some patients have no symptoms
- 5 types of treatments for myeloma
- Chemotherapy and medications
- Stem cell transplant
- Myeloma is relapsing-remitting cancer, meaning there are periods when the myeloma is causing symptoms and times where there are no symptoms or treatment required
Want to learn more? Check out this video from our friends at Patient Power.