Multiple myeloma

Overview

Type of disease: Rare conditions

Multiple myeloma is a cancer of the plasma cells in the bone marrow. Plasma cells help the body fight infection by producing proteins called antibodies. In multiple myeloma, plasma cells grow out of control in the bone marrow and form tumors in the areas of solid bone. The growth of these bone tumors makes it harder for the bone marrow to make healthy blood cells and platelets. This disease may also harm other tissues and organs, such as the kidneys. Multiple myeloma mainly affects older adults. Although the exact cause is unknown, there are several known risk factors that can increase a person’s chance of getting this disease. Source: Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD), supported by ORDR-NCATS and NHGRI.

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