A risk factor is any factor that is associated with an increased chance of developing a particular health condition, such as myeloma. There are different types of risk factors, some of which can be modified and some that cannot.
It should be noted that having one or more risk factors does not mean a person will develop myeloma. Many people have at least one risk factor but will never develop myeloma, while others with myeloma may have had no known risk factors. Even if a person with myeloma has a risk factor, it is usually hard to know how much that risk factor contributed to the development of their disease.
Although the causes of myeloma are not fully understood, there are a number of factors associated with the risk of developing the disease. These factors include:
- increasing age
- a family history of multiple myeloma
- exposure to high-dose radiation, and certain chemicals.
If you have any of these risk factors or are concerned about your risk for myeloma, please see your doctor.