What is a cancer of the blood? These cancers such as leukemia, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma, are cancers that primarily affect the bone marrow, the area in your bones where new blood cells are produced. Because they effect the bone marrow, blood cancers are different than solid tumors like those of the lung, prostate, and breasts. When you have a blood cancers like multiple myeloma something goes wrong with each blood cell type produced in the bone marrow:
Dr. Nina Shah, hematologist at UCSF, summarizes blood cancers by explaining, “One cell got really selfish and decided that it needed to take up all the resources of everybody else, and in doing so, took up space and energy from the rest of the body. In multiple myeloma, the cells that become selfish are plasma cells.
How can doctors detect a blood cancer like multiple myeloma? One important way is to do blood and urine tests which measure antibodies and proteins which indicate the presence and extent of the disease.
SurvivorNet has assembled some of the country’s leading experts to help you understand multiple myeloma and make decisions about your care.
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