IN THIS ARTICLE
What Are the Types of Myeloma?
Different types of myeloma are classified by the type of immunoglobulin produced by the abnormal plasma cells.
Immunoglobulins (Ig) are made up of two structural components: light chains and heavy chains and further classified by the type of light (kappa or lambda) or heavy (alpha [IgA], gamma [IgG], mu [IgM], delta [IgD], and epsilon [IgE]) chains.
A plasma cell disorder related to myeloma is called monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance, or MGUS. MGUS is not cancerous. MGUS is believed to be a premyeloma condition, although not all patients with MGUS develop myeloma. About 30%-40% of people with MGUS, given sufficient time, may progress to develop myeloma.
Incidence of Myeloma
Myeloma is the second most common blood cancer, but it is not a common cancer. An estimated 30,330 new patients will be diagnosed with myeloma in the United States in 2016, and men are diagnosed with the condition slightly more frequently than women. The mortality statistic in the U.S. is estimated to be about 12,650 in 2016.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/1/2016
Jay B. Zatzkin, MD
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