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Multiple Myeloma Risks and Prevention

A risk factor is a characteristic that can make someone more likely to develop a disease. Some risk factors like age and sex cannot be modified or lowered.

Having a risk factor, or even several, does not mean that you will get this condition.

Multiple Myeloma Risk Factors

  • Age: Myeloma is most common in people who are middle aged or older
  • Gender: Men develop myeloma more than women
  • Race: African-Americans have a greater risk
  • Previous exposure to radiation
  • Having a myeloma precancerous state: monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance or smoldering multiple myeloma
  • Having a condition called monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) or smoldering multiple myeloma (SMM) may also increase your risk for developing myeloma. In people with MGUS or SMM, their bone marrow has abnormal plasma cells, but they do not have symptoms and in some cases may never develop myeloma that needs treatment.

There are no preventive recommendations for multiple myeloma at this time.