You might have a Bence-Jones protein test and other tests to check for multiple myeloma if you have some of these symptoms: Bone pain, or even fracturing, especially in the back, hips, or skull High blood calcium, likely caused by the breakdown of bone Low counts of red or white blood cells or platelets in the blood Nervous system problems, including pain, numbness, or weakness. These can be caused by bones deteriorating and pinching nerves or by myeloma-made toxins that damage nerves. Stroke-like symptoms, confusion, and dizziness. These symptoms should be brought to a healthcare provider's attention right away. They can also be symptoms of multiple myeloma because the myeloma cells sometimes make chemicals that cause the blood to become thicker. This can limit blood flow to the brain. Weakness and swelling of the legs. This can be caused by kidney damage resulting from myeloma. An increased vulnerability to infections. This may be from myeloma's impact on the immune system.
Symptoms of multiple myeloma are caused by the overgrowth of white blood cells. Myeloma cells take over your bones from the inside out. This makes your bones more likely to break. If you break a bone while performing an everyday task, your doctor might suspect multiple myeloma.
Other symptoms include:
kidney problems (caused by antibody buildup)
anemia, which causes fatigue or weakness
swollen or weak legs
pain in the ribs or back
compressed spinal cord or nerves (due to bone fractures)
frequent urination or constipation (from when bones break down and leave excess calcium in the blood)
Multiple myeloma is not a preventable disease as very few cases are linked to avoidable risk factors. While many cancers have clear risk factors that influence the development of the disease, such as smoking and lung cancer, multiple myeloma's risk factors are not fully understood. Unfortunately, this means nothing can be done to prevent the disease. Furthermore, while people with a history a plasma cell neoplasms, such as MGUS or a solitary plasmacytoma, are more likely to develop multiple myeloma, it is not clear what causes these diseases to progress on to myeloma.
The treatment of multiple myeloma depends on whether the patient is experiencing symptoms (see the Stages section) and the patient's overall health. In many cases, a team of doctors will work with the patient to determine the best treatment plan. The goals of treatment are to eliminate myeloma cells, control tumor growth, control pain, and allow patients to have an active life. While there is no cure for multiple myeloma, the cancer can be managed successfully in many patients for years.