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.”