Multiple myeloma

Plasma cell dyscrasia; Plasma cell myeloma; Malignant plasmacytoma; Plasmacytoma of bone; Myeloma - multiple

Multiple myeloma is a blood cancer that starts in the plasma cells in the bone marrow. Bone marrow is the soft, spongy tissue found inside most bones. It helps make blood cells.

Plasma cells help your body fight infection by producing proteins called antibodies. With 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 weakens the solid bones. It also makes it harder for the bone marrow to make healthy blood cells and platelets.

Cryoglobulinemia - of the fingers

Cryoglobulinemia is caused by an abnormal protein that is occasionally found in the blood of people with multiple myeloma, leukemia, and certain forms of pneumonia. It causes blood to gel at low temperatures. In this picture, cryoglobulinemia has reduced blood flow in the fingers so much the fingers have turned dark; the black areas are gangrene resulting from lack of blood flow.

Immune system structures

The immune system protects the body from potentially harmful substances. The inflammatory response (inflammation) is part of innate immunity. It occurs when tissues are injured by bacteria, trauma, toxins, heat or any other cause.

Antibodies

Antigens are large molecules (usually proteins) on the surface of cells, viruses, fungi, bacteria, and some non-living substances such as toxins, chemicals, drugs, and foreign particles. The immune system recognizes antigens and produces antibodies that destroy substances containing antigens.

Causes

Symptoms

Exams and Tests

Treatment

Support Groups

Outlook (Prognosis)

Possible Complications

When to Contact a Medical Professional