understanding multiple myeloma

Everything You Need to Know About Myeloma

Essential Information for Patients and Caregivers

Myeloma, also known as multiple myeloma, is a type of cancer that originates in the plasma cells, a form of white blood cell that is made in the bone marrow. Many people opt for drugs like Elrexfio, a medicine for adults with multiple myeloma who have tried at least four different treatments. This article will discuss myeloma, dietary and lifestyle changes that can be made to treat it and more.

Carcinogenic Drinks to Avoid

  • Soda.
  • Sugary fruit juices.
  • Energy drinks.
  • Alcohol.
  • Sweetened iced tea.
  • Processed fruit drinks.
  • Flavored waters with artificial sweeteners.
  • Sweetened coffee drinks.
  • Sports drinks with added sugars.
  • Canned iced coffees and teas.

Signs and Symptoms of Myeloma

In some situations, myeloma has no noticeable symptoms which can make it challenging to catch. However, it can be caught if a blood or urine test is already being done for another condition that causes higher-than-normal levels of protein.

In cases of myeloma that are more advanced, some of the common symptoms include:

  • Bone pain, especially in the back or ribs.
  • Bones that break easily.
  • Fever for no known reason.
  • Frequent infections.
  • Bruising or bleeding easily.
  • Trouble breathing.
  • Weakness of the arms or legs.
  • Extreme fatigue.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, talk to your doctor.

What Causes Myeloma?

Experts don’t exactly know why some people get myeloma. The condition begins with one plasma cell in the bone marrow where blood cells are made. Plasma cells are an integral part of the immune system, responsible for producing antibodies that help fight infection. However, in myeloma, these cells grow uncontrollably and accumulate in the bone marrow, leading to various systemic effects and complications.

While it’s not clear why exactly this occurs, there are a few common risk factors that experts have identified. These risk factors include:


Myeloma is most commonly diagnosed in people over the age of 60.


Studies show that men are slightly more likely to develop myeloma than women.


African Americans are at higher risk of myeloma; in fact, 1 in every 5 patients diagnosed with myeloma in the U.S. is African American.


Family history can play a large role in whether someone gets myeloma. First-degree relatives–parents, siblings or children– of people with myeloma have a two to three times higher risk of developing the disease.


Being obese can increase your chances of getting myeloma.

Chemical and Radiation Exposure

Exposure to radiation and certain chemicals has also been linked to an increased risk of developing myeloma.


Research shows that a balanced diet is especially important if you have myeloma. This is because myeloma and its treatment can have side effects that can actually make maintaining a healthy diet more challenging, such as loss of appetite, taste changes, dry mouth, nausea, constipation and more. A healthy and balanced diet can help maintain muscle mass and strength, increase energy levels and may even help to promote recovery after periods of treatment or assist in boosting the immune system.

Experts suggest that staying hydrated is essential for people with myeloma to help keep their kidneys working well. Three liters per day is recommended for myeloma.

Other treatment options include:

Targeted Therapy

Targeted therapy uses medicines that attack specific chemicals in the cancer cells. By blocking these chemicals, targeted treatments can cause cancer cells to die.


Immunotherapy targets the body's immune system to kill cancer cells.

Bone Marrow Transplant

A bone marrow transplant, also known as a stem cell transplant, replaces diseased bone marrow with healthy bone marrow.


Elrexfio is a medication designed for adults diagnosed with multiple myeloma. It is specifically intended for those who have undergone at least four different treatments, including a proteasome inhibitor, an immunomodulatory agent or an anti-CD38 monoclonal antibody. Additionally, it is prescribed for individuals whose cancer has either relapsed or did not respond to prior treatment.

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