What is myeloma?

Myeloma is a type of cancer that develops from plasma cells made in the bone marrow. Bone marrow is the spongy tissue found inside the inner part of some of our large bones.

Symptoms of myeloma

Myeloma doesn't always cause symptoms in its early stages. It might be picked up on a routine blood test. The main symptoms include bone pain in the back, hips and ribs and tiredness.

Getting diagnosed with myeloma

You usually start by seeing your GP. They might refer you to a specialist and organise tests. 

Survival for myeloma

Survival depends on many different factors including how advanced your myeloma is when you are diagnosed, your age and your general fitness. 

Treatment for myeloma

The main treatments for myeloma include targeted cancer drugs, chemotherapy and steroids.

Types of myeloma

There are different types of myeloma. Your type is named after the abnormal immunoglobulin (paraprotein) made by the myeloma cells.

Stages of myeloma

The stage of your myeloma tells your doctor about how it is affecting you and how it might develop. Doctors use the stage of your myeloma to help them decide on the best treatment for you. 

Research and clinical trials for myeloma

Researchers around the world are looking at treatments for myeloma.

Living with myeloma

Practical and emotional support is available to help you cope with myeloma.

Risks and causes of myeloma

We don't know what causes most cases of myeloma. There are some known risk factors. Even if you have one or more risk factors, it does not mean that you will definitely get myeloma.

Last reviewed: 
29 Sep 2023
Next review due: 
29 Mar 2026