Multiple myeloma, also known as plasma cell myeloma or Kahler’s disease, is a form of cancer that develops in plasma cells. It is an incurable but treatable form of cancer in which abnormal cells accumulate in the bone marrow and in solid areas of bone. Patients often experience bone pain and weakness, kidney problems, anemia, and amyloidosis.
The American Cancer Society states that only 1 percent of patients diagnosed with multiple myeloma are under the age of 40. Almost two-thirds of the patients diagnosed are over 65, and men are more likely to develop this form of cancer than women. Approximately 14,600 people are diagnosed with multiple myeloma in the United States each year. African Americans are twice as likely as white Americans to develop multiple myeloma.
There are several factors that increase the risk of multiple myeloma, including exposure to radiation, chemical resins, organic solvents, pesticides, are herbicides. Human Herpes Virus 8 is also thought to be related to the development of multiple myeloma. People who have first-degree relatives with the cancer may have a higher risk of developing multiple myeloma. However, the genetic mutation that causes the cancerous growth has not been discovered.
While research for reducing the risk of multiple myeloma is still preliminary, experts tend to agree a healthy diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean sources of protein are ideal in preventing this form of cancer. Vitamin A, cooked tomatoes, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and fresh fish have also been seen to reduce a person’s risk of developing multiple myeloma.