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Screening

There is no UK screening programme for myeloma because:

  • this type of cancer is uncommon, so many people would have unnecessary tests
  • the benefits don't outweigh the costs

See your GP if you have any symptoms or are worried about your cancer risk.

What is screening?

Screening means testing people for early stages of a disease. This is before they have any symptoms. For screening to be useful the tests:

  • need to be reliable at picking up cancers
  • overall must do more good than harm to people taking part
  • must be something that people are willing to do

Screening tests are not perfect and have some risks. The screening programme should also be good value for money for the NHS.

What to do if you think you're at risk

Talk to your GP if you think you are at higher than average risk of myeloma.

You will have regular check ups if you have a medical condition called monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS). 

Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) means there are abnormal proteins in the blood or urine. These abnormal proteins are called monoclonal proteins (also called M-protein, paraprotein, light chain or abnormal antibody) without any other symptoms of myeloma.

This condition does not usually cause any problems. Sometimes it is only picked up by chance when you have blood tests for another reason. 

There is a small risk of developing myeloma if you have MGUS. You will have blood tests about every 6 to 12 months to monitor you.