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The stage of a cancer is a term used to describe its extent and how much it’s affecting the body.
Knowing the stage of the myeloma helps doctors plan the most appropriate treatment| for you. Generally, myeloma is divided into three stages, which indicate the effect the disease is having on the body and how quickly or slowly it may develop.
A commonly used staging system for myeloma is the International Staging System (ISS). This system looks at the levels of the blood proteins beta-2 microglobulin and albumin.
The beta-2 microglobulin level is less than 3.5 milligrams per deciliter (3.5mg/dL) and the albumin level is greater than or equal to 3.5g/dL. This is early-stage myeloma.
Neither stage 1 or 3. This is intermediate-stage myeloma.
The beta-2 microglobulin level is greater than or equal to 5.5 mg/dL. This is advanced myeloma.
Content last reviewed: 1 February 2013
Next planned review: 2015
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© Macmillan Cancer Support 2013
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