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Although several things appear capable of causing or triggering myeloma, all of the details are not known. Things associated with an increased risk of myeloma and related diseases are toxic chemicals (for example, agricultural chemicals and Agent orange used in Vietnam as well as a whole range of petrochemical compounds such as solvents and cleaning materials), radiation (including atomic radiation), and several viruses including human immunodeficiency virus (HIv), hepatitis viruses, human herpes virus 8 (HHv-8), HHv-6 and others. There is some family tendency for myeloma: approximately 5% of family members are at increased risk of myeloma. Potential screening/early testing can be discussed with your physician.

This information was taken from the 2010/11 IMF Patient Handbook, part of the free IMF Info Pack. To order your copy, click here. If you have questions about the information on this page, or about any aspect of myeloma, call the IMF Hotline at (800) 452-CURE.

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