Understanding the course of multiple myeloma
Multiple myeloma is a blood cancer that starts in plasma cells, a type of white blood cell that normally fights infections. Multiple myeloma develops after healthy plasma cells, located in the bone marrow, mutate into cancerous myeloma cells.
The cancerous myeloma cells grow uncontrollably, crowding out new healthy blood cells made in the bone marrow, including red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. The cancerous myeloma cells can overtake normal blood cells in the bone marrow, destroy bone tissue, and spread all over the body.
Multiple myeloma does not have a cure, but it can be treated with help from healthcare providers when it relapses
Not all patients respond to a treatment the same way. Relapse is the return of the disease or signs and symptoms of the disease after a period of improvement. When cancer does not respond to a treatment, it is known as refractory disease.
Although it’s discouraging when relapse occurs, there are treatment options available.