Multiple Myeloma Awareness Month
March 1 – March 31 CST
Multiple Myeloma Awareness Month, observed in March and sponsored by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, educates the public that myeloma is a type of blood cancer that begins in the bone marrow. It forms in the body’s plasma cells, which are a type of white blood cell that normally helps to fight infections. When myeloma cells multiply beyond control and overtake the normal plasma cells, they cause serious medical complications.
Multiple Myeloma Awareness Month educates that more than 30,000 people will be diagnosed and almost 13,000 people will die from myeloma. Today, almost 120,000 people are living with, or in remission, from myeloma.
Symptoms of those with Multiple Myeloma differ. People with Multiple Myeloma may feel fatigued and short of breath on exertion. Less common, when the white blood cell count is low, patients will have an increased risk of infection. People with bone lesions may have pain.
For a very small percentage of patients, myeloma is hereditary. Others have been exposed to environmental toxins such as high doses of radiation or to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War. Most people, however, don’t have a family history or known environmental exposure.