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About your diagnosis

Let's talk about multiple myeloma and mantle cell lymphoma.


Doctor and patient discussing treatment with VELCADE.

The facts about multiple myeloma

Multiple myeloma is a cancer of the blood.

It affects the part of your bone called bone marrow. Your bone marrow produces the cells that make up your blood, including red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and plasma cells.

Types of cells your bone marrow produces: red blood cells, plasma cell, platelets, and white blood cells.

How multiple myeloma may affect you

Myeloma cells multiply and can build up in the bone marrow. When they do, these cells can prevent the bone marrow from making enough red blood cells and also impair the body’s ability to fight infections. Prior to diagnosis, people with multiple myeloma may experience a number of symptoms that lead them to seek medical attention. However, some people may not have any symptoms or their symptoms may be vague. Multiple myeloma is often discovered as a result of laboratory testing or diagnostic imaging performed for other reasons, such as a routine blood test.

Common symptoms of multiple myeloma are referred to as CRAB:

  • C=Increase in blood calcium
  • R=Renal (kidney) problems
  • A=Anemia (low red blood cell count)
  • B=Bone damage

Symptoms like these could be signs of other medical problems. Talk with your healthcare team about any symptoms and questions you may have.

The facts about mantle cell lymphoma

Mantle cell lymphoma is a type of blood cancer that affects white blood cells called lymphocytes.

It gets its name because it affects lymphocytes in the mantle zone of a lymph node. A rare form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), mantle cell lymphoma makes up about 6% of all NHL cases in the United States. It is most common in older adults.

Lymphocytes are white blood cells that help fight infections and other diseases in the body. They are found in the blood and lymphatic system, which includes your bone marrow, spleen, and lymph nodes. When lymphocytes become cancerous, they can multiply and spread to many parts of the body and form tumors. These tumors can cause the lymph nodes to enlarge.

Mantle cell lymphoma is considered to be an aggressive cancer, meaning it can grow and spread rapidly. At the time of diagnosis, it is common for mantle cell lymphoma to have already spread to other parts of the body.

Mantle cell lymphoma gets its name because it affects the lymphocytes that are in the mantle zone of a lymph node

Common signs and symptoms of mantle cell lymphoma include:

  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Fever
  • Night sweats
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Indigestion
  • Abdominal pain or bloating
  • Feeling of fullness or discomfort as a result of enlarged tonsils, liver, or spleen
  • Pressure or pain in lower back, often extending down 1 or both legs
  • Fatigue related to anemia (low red blood cell count)

These symptoms could also be signs of other medical problems. Talk with your healthcare team about any symptoms or questions you may have.