March is Myeloma Action Month. Like many patients first diagnosed with the disease, you may be wondering what myeloma is. Also called multiple myeloma, it’s a cancer of the bone marrow plasma cells – the type of white blood cell that makes antibodies. Myeloma is called “multiple” because these cancerous, or malignant, plasma cells usually affect multiple areas of the bone marrow.
Multiple myeloma is the third most common blood cancer in Canada, and most adults diagnosed with myeloma are in their early 60’s. It’s slightly more common in men than women, and at least twice as common in African Americans and blacks from Africa and the Caribbean. In 70% of patients, the most common symptoms of myeloma are bone pain (often in the spine or chest), persistent or worsening fatigue, and recurrent or persistent infections. See you doctor if you’re experiencing any of these possible symptoms of myeloma.
There have been major advancements in the treatment of myeloma over the last decade. Researchers continue to work towards developing a cure.
As part of Myeloma Action Month, the International Myeloma Foundation has a video campaign called “Being a Myeloma Warrior”. To help raise awareness of myeloma, we’ve made a short video sharing what we think it means to be a myeloma warrior. Please spread the word.
For more information on myeloma, please see: