Multiple Myeloma

Multiple myeloma is a cancer that is found in the plasma cells which are located in bone marrow. As with all cancers, the normal healthy cells mutate into cancer cells and multiply at a faster rate than a healthy blood cell. When these cells start multiplying at a faster rate, they produce a tumor in the bone marrow called a plasmacytoma. If just one tumor is detected in the bone marrow it is called an isolated plasmacytoma. When it is more than one tumor, it is classified as multiple myeloma.

Multiple Myeloma Symptoms

Multiple myeloma is difficult to detect in its early stages, because patients often don’t have symptoms. Occasionally, it may be found in an early stage if a patient’s routine bloodwork from a physical shows abnormalities. As the disease progresses some common symptoms of multiple myeloma include:

  • Bone pain, especially in the back
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Long lasting infections, such as respiratory infections
  • Numbness or weakness in extremities due to pressure on the spinal cord
  • Hypercalcemia (unusually high levels of calcium in the blood)
  • Renal (kidney) failure

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