Cancer Types – Multiple Myeloma
Multiple Myeloma: Overview
Like regular plasma cells, myeloma cells can produce antibodies. However, myeloma cells are unable to produce normal, functioning antibodies. Instead, they make what is called “monoclonal protein,” or “M protein,” which can accumulate in the blood and urine, potentially causing damage to the kidneys and other organs. A person who has slightly too much of this “M protein” is said to have monoclonal gammopathy of unknown significance (MGUS).
Myeloma often causes structural bone damage resulting in painful fractures or bone breaks. Myeloma is usually called multiple myeloma because most people (90%) have multiple bone lesions at the time it is diagnosed. Solitary plasmacytoma is a mass of myeloma cells that involve only one site in the bone or other organs, most commonly in the upper respiratory tract, including the nose and throat. Extramedullary plasmacytoma describes myeloma that started outside the bone marrow in locations such as the lymph glands, sinuses, throat, liver, or under the skin.
Read more about multiple myeloma here.