Multiple myeloma - Symptom
Plasma cell dyscrasia; Plasma cell myeloma; Malignant plasmacytoma; Plasmacytoma of bone; Myeloma - multiple
Multiple myeloma causes anemia, which makes a person more likely to get infections and have abnormal bleeding.
As the cancer cells grow in the bone marrow, bone or back pain, most often in the ribs or back.
If the bones in the spine are affected, it can put pressure on the nerves, resulting in numbness or weakness of the arms or legs.
Other symptoms include:
- Bleeding problems
- Fatigue due to anemia
- Fevers without any other cause
- Shortness of breath due to anemia
- Unexplained broken bones
Signs and tests:
Blood tests can help diagnose this disease. They may include:
- Blood tests to check calcium level, total protein level, and kidney function
- Complete blood count (CBC)
- Blood and urine tests to check to identify proteins, or antibodies (immunofixation)
- Blood tests to quickly and accurately measure the specific level of certain proteins called immunoglobulins (nephelometry)
This list is not all-inclusive.
Bone x-rays may show fractures or hollowed out areas of bone. If your doctor suspects this type of cancer, a bone marrow biopsy will be performed.
Bone density testing may show bone loss.
- Reviewed last on: 2/28/2011
- David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; Yi-Bin Chen, MD, Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
National Comprehensive Cancer Network. National Comprehensive Cancer Network Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology: Multiple Myeloma. 2011. Version 1.2011. Accessed January 29, 2011.
Rajkumar SV, Dispenzieri A. Multiple myeloma and related disorders. In: Abeloff MD, Armitage JO, Niederhuber JE, Kastan MB, McKenna WG, eds. Abeloff’s Clinical Oncology. 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; 2008:chap 110.
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