March is Multiple Myeloma Awareness Month.
Anyone exposed to Ground Zero toxins on or after 9/11 has a much higher risk for many respiratory illnesses and 68 different types of cancer, including multiple myeloma.
A relatively rare cancer, multiple myeloma forms in a type of white blood cell called a plasma cell. Healthy plasma cells help you fight infections by making antibodies that recognize and attack germs.
But with multiple myeloma, cancerous plasma cells accumulate in the bone marrow and block healthy blood cells. Rather than produce helpful antibodies, the cancer cells produce abnormal proteins that could lead to complications.
A report from the American Cancer Society estimates that 34,920 new cases of multiple myeloma were diagnosed in 2021.
Major risk factors for multiple myeloma include old age, male gender, family history, obesity, having other plasma cell diseases, and exposure to Ground Zero toxins after 9/11.
The most common symptoms of multiple myeloma are bone pain, especially in the spine or chest, nausea, constipation, loss of appetite, mental fogginess or confusion, fatigue, frequent infections, weight loss, weakness or numbness in the legs, and excessive thirst.
Accessing treatment through the World Trade Center Health Program – which might include chemotherapy, radiation, medication, and bone marrow transplant – could dramatically improve your quality of health if started early.
Protect yourself by visiting a primary care provider regularly and reporting any problems that could indicate multiple myeloma.
If you are diagnosed with multiple myeloma or any of the other cancers or respiratory diseases impacting the 9/11 community, please contact us to access health care and compensation.
Visit 911victims.com or call 212-385-8000 today.