Multiple myeloma isn't contagious. Most people who develop multiple myeloma have no clearly identifiable risk factors for the disease.
Some factors that may increase your risk of multiple myeloma include:
- Age. The majority of people who develop multiple myeloma are older than 50, with most diagnosed in their mid-60s. Few cases occur in people younger than 40.
- Sex. Men are more likely to develop the disease than are women.
- Race. Blacks are about twice as likely to develop multiple myeloma as are whites.
- History of a monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS). Every year 1 percent of the people with MGUS in the United States develop multiple myeloma.
- Obesity. Your risk of multiple myeloma is increased if you're overweight or obese.
Other factors that may increase your risk of developing multiple myeloma include exposure to radiation and working in petroleum-related industries.
Aug. 16, 2011
- Rajkumar SV, et al. Multiple myeloma and related disorders. In: Abeloff MD, et al. Abeloff's Clinical Oncology. 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/page.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-443-06694-8..50114-7&isbn=978-0-443-06694-8&uniqId=265138448-3#4-u1.0-B978-0-443-06694-8..50114-7--cesec26. Accessed July 9, 2011.
- Mercier LR. Bone tumor, primary malignant.In: Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2011: Instant Diagnosis and Treatment. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05610-6..C2009-0-38600-6--TOP&isbn=978-0-323-056106&about=true&uniqId=230100505-53. Accessed July 9, 2011.
- Rajkumar SV. Clinical features, laboratory manifestations, and diagnosis of multiple myeloma. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed July 9, 2011.
- Kyle RA, et al. Multiple myeloma. In: Bope ET, et al. Conn's Current Therapy. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4377-0986-5..C2009-0-38984-9--TOP&isbn=978-1-4377-0986-5&about=true&uniqId=236797353-5. Accessed July 9, 2011.
- Rajkumar SV. Initial chemotherapy for patients with high risk multiple myeloma.http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed July 9, 2011.
- Thalidomide. National Cancer Insitute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/druginfo/thalidomide. Accessed July 9, 2011
- Rajkumar SV. Initial chemotherapy for symptomatic multiple myeloma in patients who are not candidates for transplantation. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed July 9, 2011.
- Rajkumar SV. Treatment of the complications of multiple myeloma. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed July 9, 2011.
- Multiple myeloma: Lifestyle changes to consider during and after treatment. American Cancer Society. http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/MultipleMyeloma/DetailedGuide/multiple-myeloma-after-lifestyle-changes. Accessed July 9, 2011.
- Multiple myeloma: How about your emotional health? American Cancer Society. http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/MultipleMyeloma/DetailedGuide/multiple-myeloma-after-emotional-health. Accessed July 9, 2011.
- Complementary and alternative methods for cancer management. American Cancer Society. http://www.cancer.org/Treatment/TreatmentsandSideEffects/ComplementaryandAlternativeMedicine/complementary-and-alternative-methods-for-cancer-management. Accessed July 9, 2011.
- Lu Weidong, et al. The value of acupuncture in cancer care. Hematology/Oncology Clinics of North America. 2008;22:631.
- Rajkumar SV (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. July 25, 2011.
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