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Myeloma: Home

What Is Myeloma?

What Is Myeloma? 

Plasma cells are cells in the immune system that make antibodies, which help the body fight infection and disease. Plasma cell neoplasms are diseases in which the body makes too many plasma cells in the bone marrow and these cells are abnormal. The abnormal plasma cells make M proteins, which are abnormal antibodies that build up in the bone marrow and can cause the blood to thicken or damage the kidneys.

The abnormal plasma cells can also form tumors in the bone or soft tissue. When there is only one tumor, the disease is called a plasmacytoma. When there is more than one tumor, the disease is called multiple myeloma. Both are malignant (cancer).

Multiple myeloma may not cause signs or symptoms for a long time and is often not found until it is advanced. Myeloma tumors can weaken the bone, cause too much calcium in the blood, and damage the kidneys and other organs. Bone pain is a common symptom of advanced multiple myeloma. Other signs and symptoms include frequent infections, anemia, bleeding, numbness or tingling, and weakness.

Source: National Cancer Institute - Plasma Cell Neoplasms
Image Source: National Cancer Institute

Books at the Resource Library

These are just a few highlights from the Resource Library collection. Please click here to search our online catalog. For more information about the Resource Library and how to borrow materials, visit our website

Supportive Care Programs at the Ridley-Tree Cancer Center

The Ridley-Tree Cancer Center has one of the largest Genetic Counseling departments in California. We offer hereditary cancer risk counseling to help patients and families with a history of cancer better understand and manage the risk of developing cancer through genetic risk assessment and genetic testing.Our Genetic Counselors translate complex genetic information into understandable recommendations for patients, physicians, and families. 

For more information, visit the Ridley-Tree Cancer Center website or call (805) 879-5653.

The Oncology Dietitian Nutritionists at the Ridley-Tree Cancer Center provide evidence-based recommendations that are proven by scientific research and clinical experience. Education and support are provided to help prevent treatment delays and decrease side effects from treatment. Once treatment for cancer is complete, our nutrition experts can recommend personalized food choices that will support treatment outcomes, enhance the quality of life, and decrease the risk of disease recurrence. Monthly seminars provide an opportunity to discuss the most recent research related to cancer, foods and your lifestyle. Services are offered free-of-charge to individuals currently in treatment or within one year of their last treatment.

For more information, visit the Ridley-Tree Cancer Center website or call (805) 879-5652. 

The Ridley-Tree Cancer Center provides Patient Navigation services in order to assist patients on the journey to live with, through, and beyond cancer. Navigators serve as a liaison between individual patients and the various healthcare providers required for proper diagnosis, treatment, and disease management.

Navigators offer coordination of care throughout a cancer patient's experience, by:

  • Explaining medical procedures and providing cancer information
  • Ensuring medical appointments are scheduled and kept
  • Coordinating and streamlining insurance information
  • Identifying local resources and appropriate support
  • Enhancing communication between care providers

Navigation is available per physician referral and is offered free-of-charge. For more information, contact the Patient Navigation department at (805) 879-0660 or navigator@ridleytreecc.org.

At the Ridley-Tree Cancer Center’s Resource Library, we aim to empower anyone touched by cancer with the knowledge they need to become well-informed partners in their healthcare. The Resource Library offers a comfortable place where patients and families can find current, comprehensive information about all aspects of cancer. Services include research assistance, a lending library and online information guides. The Resource Library is open to all and services are offered at no charge.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Resource Library is currently closed to visitors. Library materials and services are still available via mail, phone and email. For more information, visit the Ridley-Tree Cancer Center website or contact the Resource Library at (805) 879-5648 or library@ridleytreecc.org.

Cancer can involve significant psychological, social, and economic challenges for patients and their families. How and if these challenges are addressed is an important aspect of a patient’s care plan. The Ridley-Tree Cancer Center employs clinical social workers who provide emotional and practical support for patients, their families, and their friends. Oncology Social Workers can provide advocacy and referrals as well as individual and family counseling services.

Services are available at no cost and are available to anyone in our community, regardless of where they are receiving medical care. 

For more information, visit the Ridley-Tree Cancer Center website or call (805) 879-5690.  

A wide range of wellness activities, classes and programs are available to our patients and their caregivers. Programs include yoga, exercise programs, painting, flower arranging, meditation and more. Upcoming dates can be found on the Ridley-Tree Cancer Center online calendar.

Programs offered free-of-charge. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all Wellness classes are currently being offered online via Zoom. For more information including who qualifies for Ridley-Tree Cancer Center Wellness Programs & Classes and class descriptions, visit the Ridley-Tree Cancer Center website or call (805) 879-5678. 

Videos

Cancer.Net - Multiple Myeloma – An Introduction

Multiple myeloma is a blood cancer of cells found in bone marrow that affects the immune system. Medical oncologist-hematologist Paul Richardson, MD, and patient advocate Cynthia Chmielewski explain how multiple myeloma develops, discuss the treatment options available, and offer insight into what to consider when making treatment decisions.

International Myeloma Foundation - Updates in Multiple Myeloma from ASCO 2020

Dr. Joseph Mikhael discusses the top multiple myeloma abstracts from ASCO 2020.

Support Group

Tools for Coping with a Cancer Diagnosis

This group provides a safe place for those who are newly diagnosed with cancer to share and learn coping skills for the cancer journey. The group will discuss common issues that affect most people when they are initially diagnosed, such as shock, sharing the diagnosis or not, regaining control, dealing with a new self-image, living with uncertainty, and more.

Schedule: 3rd Thursday of each month, 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

This program is offered free-of-charge and is facilitated by professional staff. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, support groups are currently meeting online via Zoom. For more information including how to register, see the Ridley-Tree Cancer Center calendar or email Rosario Campuzano-Cortez at rcampuza@ridleytreecc.org

Podcast

The Bloodline with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

Being diagnosed with a blood cancer can make you feel like you are alone. The Bloodline with LLS is here to remind you that after a diagnosis comes hope. Listen in as experts and patients guide listeners in understanding diagnosis, treatment, and resources available to blood cancer patients. 

For more recommended podcasts, see our Cancer Basics InfoGuide.

Resources provided by the Cancer Resource Library are for informational purposes only. The information in these materials may or may not apply to your specific condition, and should not be construed as medical advice. We strongly encourage you to consult your healthcare provider to review anything you learn through these resources.

Ridley-Tree Cancer Center provides comprehensive cancer treatment and support programs for patients and families. We are recognized for medical excellence, a strong clinical research program, and a multidisciplinary approach to cancer prevention.

Cancer Resource Library | 540 West Pueblo Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93105 | (805) 563-5807 | library@ridleytreecc.org | www.ridleytreecc.org