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Is Myeloma Hereditary?

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Published on October 7, 2015

Myeloma expert Dr. Robert Orlowski, director of the myeloma department at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, discusses if myeloma may be hereditary. Dr. Orlowski states that this is something that is currently being studied. Tune in to learn more.

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Transcript | Is Myeloma Hereditary?

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.    

Audience Member:

Yes. I was wondering is myeloma hereditary? I have two boys. My husband has myeloma. And I’m just—now, we’re having grandbabies. And it’s just like really scary.

Dr. Orlowski:     

We’re actually trying to get some studies here up and running to look at this question better.  The data that we do have suggests that first-degree relatives of myeloma patients have anywhere from a two- to a fourfold increased risk of developing myeloma compared to other patients.  Now, remember that the risk overall is very, very small. So even two to four times the small number is still a small number.  So I don’t think, right now, that we have any routine recommendations for screening. But they should know that there is this family history.

 

And whenever they go see a doctor with concerns, they should mention this history to the doctor.  Myeloma isn’t usually the first thing that doctors think of when you come in with a problem.

And if they have this family history, it may prompt them to think about it more. But hopefully, again, we’ll have some research studies available for family members in the near future.

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

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