Multiple Myeloma Causes Are Not Exactly Known, But Some Factors May Increase Likelihood of Development

The causes of multiple myeloma, which is the development of multiple plasmacytomas, or plasma cell tumors, are not clear. However, researchers are gradually learning what mutations in DNA can cause plasma cells to become cancerous and have discovered certain factors that are often associated with the risk of developing the disease. Of course, having such risk factors does not mean that someone is certain to get multiple myeloma; the presence of one or more risk factors is no cause for alarm.

Some of the risk factors that may be associated with the possible causes of multiple myeloma include:

  • Family history – People with close relatives who have the disease have a higher risk of contracting multiple myeloma.
  • Gender – This type of cancer is more common in men than women.
  • Race – Multiple myeloma is more common in African Americans than the average risk in America.
  • Obesity – People who are overweight or obese have a higher risk of developing cancer in their plasma cells.
  • Radiation exposure – Exposure to high doses of radiation may create a higher risk of multiple myeloma.
  • MGUS – The condition known as monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance, which involves an abnormal protein being present in the blood, may increase a person’s risk of getting multiple myeloma.

Because multiple myeloma causes plasma cells to improperly create antibodies and prevent other blood cells from growing, some of the symptoms it creates include weakness, dizziness, bruising, and weak bones.

At Tampa General Hospital’s Hematology/Oncology Clinic, our surgeons, oncologists, and other medical staff take a multidisciplinary approach to diagnosis, the development of a treatment plan, and ongoing cancer care for patients with multiple myeloma and other forms of blood cancer. For a physician referral, please call (813) 844-2200 or use our PhysicianFinder tool.