Myeloma, also known as multiple myeloma, is a cancer arising from plasma cells, a type of white blood cell which is made in the bone marrow. Bone marrow is the ‘spongy’ material found in the centre of the larger bones in the body. The bone marrow is where all blood cells are made.
Plasma cells form part of your immune system. Normal plasma cells produce antibodies, also called immunoglobulins, to help fight infection.
In myeloma, plasma cells become abnormal, multiply uncontrollably and release only one type of antibody known as paraprotein, which has no useful function. It is often through the measurement of this paraprotein that myeloma is diagnosed and monitored.
Unlike many cancers, myeloma does not exist as a lump or tumour. Most of the symptoms and complications related to myeloma are caused by the build-up of the abnormal plasma cells in the bone marrow and the presence of the paraprotein in the blood and/or in the urine.
Myeloma affects multiple places in the body (hence ‘multiple’ myeloma) where bone marrow is normally active in an adult, ie within the bones of the spine, skull, pelvis, the rib cage, long bones of the arms and legs and the areas around the shoulders and hips.
Myeloma is a relapsing-remitting cancer. This means there are periods when the myeloma is causing symptoms and/or complications and needs to be treated, followed by periods of remission or plateau where the myeloma does not cause symptoms and does not require treatment.
For more information visit Myeloma UK
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The National Three Peaks Challenge involves climbing the three highest peaks of Scotland, England and Wales, often within 24 hours.
The total walking distance is 23 miles (37km) and the total ascent is 3064 metres (10,052ft). The total driving distance is 462 miles.
The three mountains are:
- Snowdon, in Wales (1085m)
- Scafell Pike, in England (978m)
- Ben Nevis, in Scotland (1345m)
A popular misconception is that the three mountains that form the challenge are the three tallest on the British mainland. Rather, they are the tallest mountains within each representative country: Scafell Pike is the tallest in England; Snowdon, the tallest in Wales and Ben Nevis the tallest in Scotland — over one hundred peaks in Scotland are higher than Scafell Pike, and 56 higher than Snowdon.
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