Myeloma, also known as multiple myeloma or myelomatosis, is a type of blood cancer that affects the plasma cells in the bone marrow.

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About myeloma

Myeloma causes abnormal plasma cells (a type of white blood cell) to overcrowd the bone marrow. This means there is not enough space for the bone marrow to create normal blood cells and platelets.

These plasma cells can also cause damage to the bones, causing bone thinning and fractures.

The excess protein secreted by the abnormal cells can significantly affect kidney function.

Need to know

Symptoms of myeloma may include:

  • aching bones, often affecting the spine, ribs, pelvis or skull
  • weight loss or loss of appetite
  • abnormal bleeding, such as excessive nosebleeds
  • prolonged or recurring infections
  • fatigue
  • kidney problems

Myeloma cells also cause bone damage, which can lead to bone pain and fractures. These symptoms can often be related to a number of non-cancerous conditions. However, if you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to see your GP so that a referral and diagnosis can be made as quickly as possible.

We offer a number of investigations or tests to confirm a diagnosis of myeloma, including:

  • blood and urine tests
  • CT scan, PET-CT scan and MRI scans or X-ray assessment
  • bone marrow biopsy

At HCA UK you will be looked after by a multidisciplinary team, including expert consultants, Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNSs) and supportive therapists such as psychologists who can help you with your emotional wellbeing. We understand the importance of a fast diagnosis during such an uncertain time. We’re dedicated to having test results available as quickly as possible, so you can begin any necessary treatment without delay.

Because there are different types and stages of myeloma, each treatment plan is tailored to you. Your consultant and medical team will discuss your diagnosis with you in detail and explain the different types of treatment available.

Options may include:

  • chemotherapy
  • radiotherapy
  • bone marrow and stem cell transplants
  • immunotherapy
  • clinical trials

Currently there is no cure for the vast majority of patients with myeloma, but treatment can help to slow the development of myeloma cells and improve your symptoms. We also provide a range of supportive therapies, including physio and acupuncture, to help support your overall wellbeing during your treatment.

Solomon with his wife.jpg

Solomon's story

After visiting his GP about a 'barely noticeable' lump on the side of his neck which was found to be benign, Solomon, who felt otherwise fit and well, was shocked to be diagnosed with a rare type of blood cancer – multiple myeloma – in 2018.

Vanessa shares her story.jpg

Vanessa's story

In 2010 Vanessa was diagnosed with myeloma - an incurable type of blood cancer - after seeking medical help for severe back pain, which she initially assumed was an injury from climbing; a hobby she had taken up earlier in the year. This year, Vanessa was amongst the first patients in the UK to be treated with the latest breakthrough treatment – Teclistamab; a type of immunotherapy known as a bispecific antibody.

What us amyloidosis?

Amyloidosis is a non cancerous condition that can be related to myeloma. Amyloidosis is a group of rare diseases that cause abnormal protein (amyloid) to form. These amyloid proteins (or amyloid deposits) can build up in organs or tissues and cause problems. Amyloidosis itself is not by definition malignant but some can be connected to myeloma.

There are different types of amyloidosis, your consultant and medical team will discuss your diagnosis with you in detail and explain the different types of treatment available to you.

At HCA UK we work with world-renowned consultant specialists who are experts in treating this rare condition.

Our Myeloma locations

The Harley Street Clinic

The Harley Street Clinic

35 Weymouth Street W1G 8BJ London
University College Hospital Private Care

University College Hospital Private Care

Grafton Way Building, 1 Grafton Way WC1E 6AG London
Private Care at Guy's

Private Care at Guy's

London Bridge Hospital Private Care at Guy's SE1 9RT London
The Shard Outpatients

The Shard Outpatients

The Shard, 32 St Thomas Street SE1 9BS London
The Wellington Hospital

The Wellington Hospital

8A Wellington Place NW8 9LE London
The Christie Private Care

The Christie Private Care

Wilmslow Road M20 4BX Manchester

Patient stories

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.