Myeloma is a type of cancer that begins in the bone marrow and affects the plasma cells. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society has provided the following information on Myeloma:
Myeloma has several forms:
- Multiple myeloma is most common: More than 90 percent of people with myeloma have this type. Multiple myeloma affects several different areas of the body.
- Plasmacytoma – only one site of myeloma cells evident in the body, such as in the bone, skin, muscle, or lung.
- Localized myeloma – a few neighboring sites evident.
- Extramedullary myeloma – involvement of tissue other than bone marrow, such as skin, muscles or lungs.
Doctors divide myeloma into groups that describe how rapidly or slowly the disease is progressing:
- Asymptomatic or smoldering myeloma progresses slowly and has no symptoms even though the patient has the disease.
- Symptomatic myeloma has related symptoms such as anemia, kidney damage and bone disease.
Myeloma belongs to a spectrum of diorders referred to as “plasma cell dyscrasia.”