Multiple Myeloma is a type of bone marrow cancer characterised by abnormal expansion of malignant plasma cells in the bone marrow. It is the second most common type of blood cancer and afflicts more than 100 patients in Singapore a year. It has a rising incidence in Asia, the reason for which is still elusive. These tumours may keep the bone marrow from making enough healthy blood cells. Normally, the bone marrow makes stem cells (immature cells) that become three types of mature blood cells:
The symptoms are as follows:
If you have a symptom that suggests Multiple Myeloma, your doctor must find out whether it is due to cancer or some other cause. Your doctor may ask about your personal and family medical history. You may also have one or more of the following tests.
The following people may be at risk of Multiple Myeloma:
There are different treatments available for Multiple Myeloma depending on the stage of Multiple Myeloma. Factors other than the stage of cancer that might have an impact on your treatment decision include your age, your overall health, and your own preferences. The three main types of treatment include: