(Content sponsored by Sanofi)
Black Americans have become acutely accustomed to knowing the illnesses that affect us the most.
From diabetes, to high blood pressure, to heart disease, to breast and prostate cancer; we have a pretty good understanding of what ailments affect us more or are most likely to lead to mortality.
But what about multiple myeloma? Did you know that multiple myeloma is the most common blood cancer in Black Americans?1
Did you know that Black men and women are diagnosed 2.5 and 3.5 times more under the age of 50 than their white counterparts?2 These facts should make you sit up, take notice, and add multiple myeloma to the list of “Black illnesses.”
What is Multiple Myeloma (MM)? Multiple myeloma is a cancer of plasma cells, which are types of white blood cells found in the bone marrow that grow uncontrollably and crowd the normal plasma cells in the bone marrow.3
It is the second most common blood cancer in the world3 – falling into the same category as leukemia and lymphoma.
This debilitating disease affects more than 130,000 patients in the United States alone, with approximately 32,000 Americans diagnosed with multiple myeloma each year.4
Not all patients experience visible signs of multiple myeloma.5 However, some early signs and symptoms can include:
- Bone pain that is persistent or recurrent, and fractures5
- Persistent weakness due to anemia or kidney failure5
- Recurrent unexplained infections, such as pneumonia5
- Nervous system disorders5
- Shortness of breath caused by heart or kidney failure5
Now, you could be saying, “That’s not a lot of people.” Yes, while multiple myeloma may appear to be a relatively rare disease that only accounts for a small percentage of all cancers, it is the most common blood cancer in Black Americans.1 Additionally, despite