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In the case of multiple myeloma, prevention may not be possible. Scientists have not yet identified the exact causes of multiple myeloma. Furthermore, while researchers have discovered that certain factors (such as those involving age and race) may increase the chances of developing multiple myeloma, the known risk factors cannot be avoided. Researchers are trying to determine whether other factors, such as obesity and pesticides, can increase the chances of developing multiple myeloma. At this point, no protective factors that would be helpful in multiple myeloma prevention have yet been found.

An Overview of Multiple Myeloma Prevention

Anything that increases a person's chances of developing cancer is called a risk factor; anything that decreases a person's chances of developing a disease is called a protective factor. Cancer prevention involves avoiding the causes of a cancer (and/or its risk factors) that you can control along with increasing the protective factors that can be controlled. While this proactive approach does not guarantee that a person will not develop cancer, it will decrease the chances of it occurring.
When it comes to multiple myeloma prevention, there are several challenges. The fact is, that there are no known multiple myeloma causes. Furthermore, the known risk factors, such as those involving age and race, cannot be avoided. Scientists are looking at whether other factors, such as obesity or pesticides, play a role in multiple myeloma; however, at this point, they are not considered risk factors for multiple myeloma. Finally, multiple myeloma research scientists do not know of any protective factors for this type of cancer. Therefore, it is not known how (or even if) multiple myeloma can be prevented.
(Click Multiple Myeloma Causes for more information about risk factors for multiple myeloma.)
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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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