Multiple Myeloma Risk Factors

The exact cause of multiple myeloma is not known and no avoidable risk factors have been found. However, certain things appear to make you more likely to develop multiple myeloma.

  • Age: Over 65
  • Gender: Men are slightly more likely to develop multiple myeloma
  • Race: African Americans are twice as likely as white Americans to develop multiple myeloma
  • Radiation exposure
  • Obesity
  • Other plasma cell diseases: If you have had one of the following you are at higher risk:
    • A precancerous condition called monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS)
    • A single tumor of plasma cells (solitary plasmacytoma)

Not everyone with risk factors gets multiple myeloma. However, if you have risk factors, it’s a good idea to discuss them with your doctor.