Image that says: "Multiple Myeloma"

What is Multiple
Myeloma?

Multiple Myeloma is a type of blood cancer that starts in white blood cells called plasma cells, which help your body fight infections.3 Mutations occur when the genetic material in plasma cells changes, causing plasma cells to become problematic myeloma cells.3 As myeloma cells multiply, they crowd out normal blood cells inside bone marrow, and that’s when symptoms can appear.3

 

Your doctor may suspect you have Multiple Myeloma based on medical history and signs and symptoms such as:3

  • Pain3
  • Fatigue3
  • Infections3
  • Kidney failure3
  • Easy bruising or bleeding3
  •  

To confirm your diagnosis, doctors may run a variety of blood and/or urine tests, scans, and genetic tests.

 

While there is no cure at this time, people may be able to manage their symptoms through treatment and guidance from their healthcare provider.3,4

 

Most patients with Multiple Myeloma will receive multiple types of treatment that may include:3

  • Stem cell transplant3
  • Chemotherapy3
  • Antibody therapy3
  • Immunomodulators to help your immune system find and fight cancer3
  • Proteasome inhibitors that act on specific features of the cell3

These treatments for Multiple Myeloma work in different ways and your doctor may choose to combine some of them.3

Image of Patient When Multiple Myeloma Comes Back

When Multiple Myeloma
comes back

People living with Multiple Myeloma face a difficult reality as they look ahead. The disease is incurable and though they may experience periods of remission a relapse can occur.1,4 A relapse is Multiple Myeloma that has come back after treatment. A person may also become refractory when their Multiple Myeloma does not respond to treatment.3,5

 

A relapse can feature both physical signs and emotional side effects. Signs of a relapse can include:3,6

  • The return of symptoms3,6
  • Changes in blood cell counts3
  • Problems with organs3
  • Evidence of cancer growth3

Symptoms can return, blood cell counts can change, organs can have problems, or cancer growth may be evident.3,6


At the same time, knowing that a relapse may occur or that the cancer may not respond to treatment, a person may experience fear, anxiety, and other negative feelings that weigh heavily on them and those who are closest.4

Sources of support

That’s why it’s important to take care of your heart and mind as well as your body during a relapse. Start by talking with your doctor about resources that can help. You may also want to consider expanding your sources of support.

 

You can register here to receive helpful information about taking care of both your body and your mind. 

 

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