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If you are reading this page, you may be wondering why multiple myeloma (MM) is sometimes called a blood cancer or a bone cancer and sometimes plasma cell myeloma (PCM). The info below may be more than you want to know about plasma myeloma but since you’re here…
Here we go…
Plasma is the “liquid” portion of our blood and is made mostly of water and some solutes. It makes up approximately 55% of whole blood volume.
Plasma cells are normally found in our blood but in a small amount- say 3-4%. Pre-myeloma (MGUS, SMM) occurs when plasma cells begin to multiply but only up to 10% or so. SPB, MGUS and SMM are referred to as a blood disorder or pre-myeloma because these diagnoses increase the person’s risk of a diagnosis of multiple myeloma.
Plasma cell myeloma occurs when plasma cells multiply out of control in our bone marrow. A diagnostic test called a bone marrow biopsy identifies the amount of plasma cells in a specific area being tested. Plasma cells produce monoclonal proteins which is a diagnostic marker called our m-spike.
Platelets, together with red blood cells and white blood cells, are the other components in human blood.
So plasma is the liquid component, plasma cells may be normal component or signal pre-myeloma or full myeloma.
MM isn’t really a “bone cancer.” Yes, MM originates in your bone marrow. But MM is really more specific than a bone cancer. MM isn’t even really a blood cancer either.
MM should really be called “plasma cell myeloma” because MM is a cancer of the plasma cells. MM happens when plasma cells reproduce uncontrollably.
Have you been diagnosed with MM? What stage? What symptoms are you experiencing? Bone pain? Anemia (low red blood cells…)? Kidney damage?
Bone health is fundemental to all MMers. Click the link below to access a Bone Health guide:
In vertebrates, it is composed of blood cells suspended in blood plasma. Plasma, which constitutes 55% of blood fluid, is mostly water (92% by volume), and contains dissipated proteins, glucose, mineral ions, hormones, carbon dioxide (plasma being the main medium for excretory product transportation), and blood cells themselves..
The blood cells are mainly
“Plasma cells, also called plasma B cells, plasmocytes, plasmacytes, or effector B cells, are white blood cells that secrete large volumes of antibodies. They are transported by the blood plasma and the lymphatic system. Plasma cells originate in the bone marrow;..”
“Plasmacytoma, multiple myeloma, Waldenström macroglobulinemia and PC leukemia are malignant neoplasms (“cancer”) of the plasma cells. Multiple myeloma is frequently identified because malignant plasma cells continue producing an antibody, which can be detected as a paraprotein.
Primary amyloidosis (AL) is caused by the deposition of excess immunoglobulin light chains which are secreted from plasma cells…”