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Multiple Myeloma (cont.)

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What are the signs and symptoms of multiple myeloma?

Multiple myeloma can have no symptoms, especially early in the disease, to severe symptoms, especially in those people diagnosed late in the disease process. The following is a list symptoms and signs of multiple myeloma that may be present in multiple myeloma:

  • Anemia
  • Bleeding
  • Nerve damage
  • Skin lesions
  • Enlarged tongue (macroglossia)
  • Bone tenderness or pain
  • Weakness or tiredness
  • Infections
  • Pathologic bone fractures
  • Spinal cord compression
  • Kidney failure

How is multiple myeloma diagnosed?

In many patients, multiple myeloma is first suspected when a routine blood test shows unusual blood cells. The doctor will do a history and physical exam, looking for signs and symptoms (see above) of multiple myeloma. If multiple myeloma is suspected, several studies help confirm the diagnosis. They include a bone marrow biopsy or needle aspiration of cells to be viewed by a pathologist and to be studied for their genetic function (metaphase cytogenetics) and measurements by several methods that determine levels and types of monoclonal proteins produced. In 2011, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) recommended that a serum free light chain assay and fluorescence in situ hybridization test be used to further identify multiple myeloma in patients. Most clinicians will use X-ray studies to identify skeletal lesions and MRI for spinal, paraspinal, or spinal cord lesions in multiple myeloma. In addition, several routine tests (CBC, sedimentation rate, BUN, C-reactive protein, and others) are also done.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/17/2013

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Multiple Myeloma - Symptoms Question: What were the symptoms of your multiple myeloma?
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