Facts & Statistics

All things multiple myeloma.

What is multiple myeloma?

Multiple myeloma is a hematological (blood) cancer that develops in the plasma cells found in the soft, spongy tissue at the center of your bones, called bone marrow. Plasma cells are a type of white blood cell responsible for producing antibodies (immunoglobulins) which are critical for maintaining the body’s immune system. Through a complex, multi-step process, healthy plasma cells transform in malignant myeloma cells. (http://www.themmrf.org)

How is multiple myeloma diagnosed?

Multiple myeloma is diagnosed with a bone marrow aspiration and/or biopsy. Other tests include blood monoclonal immunoglobulin and radiology tests to determine the extent of bone lesions. (Source: http://www.medicinenet.com)

What are the stages of multiple myeloma?
There are four stages of multiple myeloma.  While many doctors use different staging, these are various stages cited by
many clinicians:
  1. Smoldering: Multiple myeloma with no symptoms
  2. Stage I: Early disease with little anemia, relatively small amount of M protein and no bone damage
  3. Stage II: More anemia and M protein as well as bone damage
  4. Stage III: Still more M protein, anemia, as well as signs of kidney damage
Although there are several staging systems, stages I, II, and III usually represent multiple myeloma with increasing severity of disease. (Source: http://www.medicinenet.com)
What are the common symptoms?

Bone problems, low blood counts, high blood levels of calcium, nervous system symptoms, nerve damage, hyperviscosity, kidney problem, and infections. To read more, click: American Cancer Society.

Is there a cure for multiple myeloma?

No, there is currently no known cure for myeloma.

How many people in Northeastern Wisconsin have multiple myeloma?

Per the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, 488 multiple myeloma cases were reported in northeastern Wisconsin from 2009-2013, approximately 122 annually.

What is the treatment for multiple myeloma?
Treatment for multiple myeloma includes drugs that modulate the immune system, chemotherapy drugs, radiation therapy, stem cell transplants and, in some patients, surgery. (Source: http://www.medicinenet.com)
Who is involved with multiple myeloma treatment?
Although the patient’s primary care physician is involved in organizing treatments, specialists who treat multiple myeloma include oncologists, hematologists, radiologists, experts in stem cell transplantation and orthopedic and/or spine surgeons. (Source: http://www.medicinenet.com)
What is the prognosis for multiple myeloma?
The prognosis for myeloma is only fair. Median survival is about three years, but some patients have a life expectancy of 10 years. (Source: http://www.medicinenet.com)