Myeloma, also known as multiple myeloma, is a type of blood cancer arising from plasma cells.

These are a type of white blood cells, which are made in the bone marrow. Normal plasma cells form part of your immune system, and they make antibodies (also known as immunoglobulins).

In myeloma, a plasma cell develops abnormally and multiplies and these abnormal cells spread through the bone marrow.

They produce a version of an antibody which has no useful function, called a paraprotein. It is this paraprotein which is often detected in the blood.

Myeloma can cause a number of medical problems, such as kidney damage, anaemia, bone pain, lesions and fractures.

The most common symptoms include fatigue, recurrent infections, kidney problems and bone pain.

Myeloma is not currently curable, but it is very treatable, and the aim of treatment is to control the disease, relieve the symptoms and prolong life.

Myeloma is a relapsing-remitting disease, which means that there are times when treatment is needed, and periods when the disease does not require treatment. Treatment is usually with combinations of different drugs.

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