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Can Multiple Myeloma Be Prevented?

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For certain types of cancer, risk factors are known for the most of the cases. For example, smoking causes most lung cancers. This provides an opportunity for prevention. For other cancers, such as cervical cancer, pre-cancers can be detected early by a screening test and treated before they develop into an invasive cancer.

With multiple myeloma, few cases are linked to risk factors that can be avoided. There is no known way to prevent multiple myeloma from developing in those people with monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance or solitary plasmacytomas. Research is investigating if treating certain high risk smoldering multiple myeloma may keep it from becoming active multiple myeloma.

The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team

Our team is made up of doctors and oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.

Munshi NC, Anderson KC. Ch. 112 Plasma cell neoplasms. In: DeVita VT, Hellman S, Rosenberg SA, eds. Cancer: Principles and Practice of Oncology. 10th edition. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2015.

Rajkumar SV, Dispenzieri A. Multiple myeloma and related disorders. In: Niederhuber JE, Armitage JO, Doroshow JH, Kastan MB, Tepper JE. Abeloff’s Clinical Oncology. 5th edition. Philadelphia, PA. Elsevier: 2014:1991-2017. 

Victoria Mateos, M., Teodoro Hernández, M., Giraldo P. Lenalidomide plus Dexamethasone for High-Risk Smoldering Multiple Myeloma. N Engl J Med 2013; 369:438-447.

Last Revised: July 24, 2020

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