As September draws to an end, so does national blood cancer awareness month. However with someone being diagnosed with a blood cancer every 20 minutes, this diease should not be something that is only spoken about one month out of the year. Multiple Myeloma is a cancer occurring in the bone marrow where plasma cells are made, a type of white blood cell. Plasma cells form part of your immune system. Normal plasma cells produce antibodies to help fight infection however, in myeloma, these plasma cells become abnormal, multiply uncontrollably and release only one type of antibody – known as paraprotein – which has no useful function.
Africans both from the continent and the Caribbean have the highest risk of developing the disease. In the UK Multiple Myeloma incidence among African and Caribbean men and women is twofold that of their white counterparts. Yet knowledge of this disease within these communities is still relatively low.
AHPN believes Multiple Myeloma awareness should be brought to the forefront of health promotion campaigns targeted at communities it affects the most.
Click here to read our briefing paper on Multiple Myeloma