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Are lytic lesions a symptom of multiple myeloma?

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Quick Answer

Lytic lesions can be a symptom of multiple myeloma, a form of cancer with origins in the bone marrow. Lytic lesions are soft spots that develop on bones when the disease destroys or weakens them. Lytic lesions may resemble punched out holes on bone X-rays, states the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation.

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Full Answer

Multiple myeloma is a type of cancer that begins in plasma cells in the bone marrow. Plasma cells are types of white blood cells that make antibodies. The condition occurs when these cells reproduce abnormally, which can lead to the formation of defective antibodies called M proteins. Additionally, the growth of these cells in the bone marrow can cause the suppression of other blood components, such as red blood cells and platelets. This causes symptoms, such as anemia, abnormal bleeding and the inability to ward off infections, states the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Some other symptoms of multiple myeloma associated with bones in body areas, such as the back, ribs and pelvis, are bone pain, osteoporosis and fractures. Additionally, there can also be nerve damage, hypercalcemia (elevated levels of calcium), low blood counts and kidney problems, according to the American Cancer Society. Kidney damage may be due to the M proteins produced by plasma cells.

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