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Risk factors

To date there is no way to prevent developing multiple myeloma, however, there are certain risk factors have been associated with the disease including:

  • A family history of multiple myeloma
  • Exposure to chemicals such as herbicides, rubber, textiles, petroleum products, or heavy metals
  • Exposure to radiation
  • History of chronic infections
  • Multiple myeloma is more common among African Americans than caucasions

Signs and Symptoms

Many people will show no signs of myeloma. When symptoms are present, they may include:

  • Anemia
  • Confusion
  • Constipation
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Numbness in the legs
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Bone pain or fractures
  • Problems with urination
  • Infections (either viral or bacterial)

For more information on myeloma prevention, contact the Norton Cancer Institute Prevention & Early Detection Program at 1-800-555-6772 or (502) 629-5500 or email  A health care professional will research and respond to your question within 48-hours.  Exceptions may include weekends and holidays. 

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