The exact cause of multiple myeloma is unknown. Research suggests that the development of multiple myeloma involves a combination of environmental, viral, genetic, and lifestyle factors. An estimated 10-15% of multiple myeloma cases are linked to a person’s genetics, with the remainder being caused by environmental and lifestyle factors.
Exposure to radiation and certain harsh chemicals, as well as family history, have all been suggested as contributing factors to the development of multiple myeloma. Additionally, it is believed that certain infections, such as with certain types of viruses, may weaken the immune system and lead to a weakened cellular diversity which can contribute to the development of the disease.
What puts you at risk for multiple myeloma?
Multiple myeloma is a type of cancer that affects the plasma cells in your bone marrow, and while the exact cause of this cancer is unknown, there are a few factors that could increase your risk.
Age is a major risk factor for multiple myeloma; people 65 and over are most at risk of developing it. People of African American ethnicity are also more likely to develop multiple myeloma, as are males.
A family history of multiple myeloma also increases your risk.
Exposure to certain environmental factors can also put you at an increased risk of getting multiple myeloma, such as exposure to radiation, benzene, or other types of chemicals. Smoking and other forms of tobacco use have also been linked to an increased risk of multiple myeloma.
Certain types of pre-existing conditions and lifestyle factors can also put you at risk, such as a weakened immune system, being overweight, or having a history of chronic infections. Additionally, those who have received a transplant or have been diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder such as Lupus or Rheumatoid Arthritis may also be at an increased risk of multiple myeloma.
Overall, there is no single factor or known cause of multiple myeloma. The only way to accurately determine if you have multiple myeloma is to seek medical attention and receive a proper diagnosis.
Who is most likely to get myeloma?
Myeloma, also known as multiple myeloma, is a rare but serious form of cancer that begins in the plasma cells of the bone marrow. Plasma cells are a type of white blood cell responsible for producing essential proteins that help the body fight off infections.
Myeloma is most likely to occur in those over the age of 65, with an average age of diagnosis being around 70. Those with a family history of myeloma are also at a higher risk for developing the condition.
Myeloma is more likely to affect African American people, and men are also more likely to get the disease than women.
Other factors that may contribute to the risk of developing myeloma include exposure to certain toxic materials, such as radiation and certain occupational chemicals, or having certain conditions or diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease and HIV infection.
It is important to note, however, that the exact cause of myeloma is still unknown. While there are certain risk factors that may increase an individual’s likelihood of developing myeloma, many times the cause is unknown.
If you think that you may be at risk for myeloma, it is best to speak to your doctor so they can better assess your risk and provide you with more information.
Where does myeloma spread to first?
Myeloma is a type of cancer that affects the bone marrow and a person’s blood cells. Myeloma can spread to other parts of the body and can involve many organs. Generally, myeloma will most likely spread to the bones in the body first.
This is because the myeloma cells form within the bone marrow, which is the spongy tissue found inside the bones. When the myeloma cells form in the bone marrow, they can affect the production of white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets.
As the cancer progresses, the myeloma can spread to other bones throughout the body. Additionally, myeloma can spread to other organs, such as the liver, lungs, and lymph nodes.
Myeloma can also spread to the spinal cord and brain. This is known as “extramedullary myeloma” and can cause neurological symptoms. Additionally, myeloma may spread to increase the risk of developing an abnormal, uncontrolled tissue growth in various parts of the body, known as a plasmacytomas.
Plasmocytomas may occur in the chest, abdominal region, skin, and soft tissues.
In order to determine whether myeloma has spread, it is important to have regular checkups with a doctor to monitor any changes in the body. It is also important to have regular blood tests and imaging scans that can help detect any changes in the bones or other organs.
Treatment options depend on the stage of the myeloma and the amount of the spread.
What age is myeloma most common?
Myeloma is most common in adults aged 65 and older. However, this does not mean that younger individuals cannot be affected by myeloma. According to the American Cancer Society, myeloma makes up approximately 10% of all blood-related cancers.
It occurs more often in African Americans than in people of other races. Approximately 22,240 adults in the United States will be diagnosed with this cancer this year, and an estimated 12,770 adults will die from it.
Myeloma usually takes years to develop, so the average age of people diagnosed with the disease tends to be fairly high. The average age of those newly diagnosed with myeloma is 68 or 69 years old. However, this cancer can occur at any age.
15% of cases occur in individuals between the ages of 35 and 54. Although rare, myeloma can also occur in children, typically before age 10.
Overall, myeloma is most commonly found in adults aged 65 and older, although it is possible for younger individuals to be affected as well.
Does myeloma run in families?
Myeloma does not typically run in families or have a hereditary component. While some primary familial myeloma cases have been reported, they are extremely rare. The cause of myeloma remains unknown, although some studies suggest that a combination of inherited and external factors such as radiation exposure, smoking, and diet may play a role.
Myeloma is a cancer that develops in the plasma cells of the bone marrow. It is considered an “acquired” cancer, meaning it is not passed down through generations. In addition, there has been no established link between myeloma and genetic disorders or mutations.
Instead, this type of cancer is often the result of accumulated genetic damage within a person’s plasma cells.
While research into the genetic causes of myeloma continues, the disease does not currently appear to have a hereditary component. While there is a slight risk of myeloma in family members, this can often be attributed to shared environmental factors rather than a shared genetic predisposition.
If you have concerns about family members who have been diagnosed with myeloma, it is important to speak to your doctor to find out more.
What percentage of myeloma patients are high risk?
The exact percentage of myeloma patients who are considered high risk is difficult to determine, as definitions of high risk vary from individual to individual. However, the International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG) estimates that 35-40% of newly diagnosed myeloma patients, who present with high-risk characteristics, will likely experience a more aggressive course of the disease and an associated poorer outcome.
Factors that make a patient high risk include disease criteria such as high LDH, greater than 5 lesions on a bone scan, multifocal plasmacytomas, and more than 60 percent circulating plasma cells in blood or bone marrow.
Additionally, high-risk genetic mutations such as del17p, t(4;14), and t(14;16) can also identify a patient as having a higher risk of disease progression. It is important to have an accurate assessment of these factors when evaluating risk and planning an individualized treatment plan.
How long can you have multiple myeloma without knowing?
It is possible to have multiple myeloma without knowing for quite some time because there are usually no early symptoms. In fact, some people may not show any symptoms until the myeloma has progressed significantly and the cancer has spread to tissues and organs.
The average time from diagnosis to evaluation of a person with multiple myeloma is five to seven years. This means it is possible to have multiple myeloma without knowing for weeks, months, or even years.
It is important to note, however, that symptoms vary from individual to individual and some people may develop them sooner than others. Symptoms of multiple myeloma include fatigue, bone pain, increased susceptibility to infection, frequent urination, and swelling in the legs.
If you have any of these symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention so that your doctor can evaluate you for multiple myeloma.
How does multiple myeloma make you feel?
Multiple myeloma can cause a variety of symptoms, ranging from mild to severe. Some common symptoms include fatigue, weakness, recurrent infections, bone pain, and/or difficulty breathing. Other less common symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, constipation, numbness or tingling in the hands or feet, easy bruising or bleeding, confusion, and increased thirst or urination.
The type, severity, and duration of symptoms caused by multiple myeloma can vary from person to person. Some people with multiple myeloma may feel worse from the disease than others and may experience more intense or frequent symptoms.
The fatigue and weakness associated with multiple myeloma can be particularly debilitating, and can significantly limit or impair daily activities. Difficulties with eating and sleeping, as well as stress and depression, are also common among those living with multiple myeloma.
The emotional and psychological impact of having a long-term cancer diagnosis can be difficult to cope with, and having access to psychosocial care is recommended. Support groups and counseling can be helpful resources for those living with multiple myeloma.
When should I suspect myeloma?
If you are experiencing persistent, unexplained signs and symptoms, such as extreme fatigue, bone pain, frequent infections, and increased thirst or urination, you should suspect myeloma. Additionally, if you have blood tests that show a decrease in your platelets, hemoglobin, and white blood cells, then it might be a sign of myeloma.
Other symptoms that can occur include high calcium levels, anemia, and enlarged lymph nodes or spleen. It’s important to see your doctor if you think that you may have myeloma, or if there is a strong family history of multiple myeloma.
When you visit your doctor, they may perform a physical exam, ask about your signs and symptoms, order x-rays and blood tests, and refer you to a specialist for further testing. If a diagnosis of myeloma is made, treatment options may include high-dose chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapy, and stem cell transplantation.