Plasma cells are cells in the immune system that make antibodies, which help the body fight infection and disease. Multiple myeloma cells are abnormal plasma cells (a type of white blood cell) that build up in the bone marrow and form tumors in many bones of the body.

The abnormal plasma cells can also form tumors in the bone or soft tissue. When there is only one tumor, the disease is called a plasmacytoma. When there is more than one tumor, the disease is called multiple myeloma. Both are malignant (cancer).

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