Myeloma, also known as multiple myeloma, is a type of cancer that affects plasma cells. Plasma cells are white blood cells that produce antibodies to help fight infections. In myeloma, abnormal plasma cells accumulate in the bone marrow and interfere with the production of normal blood cells.
Myeloma is classified as a hematologic malignancy, which means it affects the blood and blood-forming tissues. It is also considered a cancer of the immune system because it involves abnormal plasma cells that can no longer function properly.
Myeloma typically develops slowly over time, and early stages of the disease may not cause any symptoms. As the disease progresses, however, patients may experience symptoms such as bone pain, fatigue, weakness, frequent infections, and anemia.
There are different subtypes of myeloma, including IgG, IgA, and light chain myeloma. Treatment options for myeloma depend on the stage and subtype of the disease, as well as the patient’s overall health and other factors. Treatments may include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapy, and stem cell transplantation.