What Are the Symptoms and Prognosis of Myeloma?


Quick Answer

There are many symptoms of myeloma, including bone pain and weakness, nausea, frequent infections and weight loss, according to WebMD. The prognosis of myeloma is variable depending on the approximate stage and may include low blood counts, bone problems and reduced kidney function, notes Mayo Clinic.

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Full Answer

Myeloma, popularly known as multiple myeloma, is a cancer that starts in the plasma cells of the bone marrow, states MedicineNet. Myeloma causes cancer cells to accumulate in the bone marrow, thereby crowding out healthy blood cells, notes Mayo Clinic. The exact cause of multiple myeloma in unknown, but scientists believe it is brought by mutations of genes that control cell growth, states WebMD.

Since myeloma cells crowd out normal blood cells, the condition often results in anemia, leukopenia and thrombocytopenia, according to American Cancer Society. Multiple myeloma also causes high levels of calcium in the blood, and this interferes with the kidney’s ability to filter waste in the blood. This can lead to symptoms such as leg swelling, weakness, itching and shortness of breath, notes Mayo Clinic. Other common complications of myeloma include hyperviscosity, nerve damage and spinal cord compression, states the American Cancer Society.

Diagnosis for myeloma may include blood and urine tests, such as electrophoresis, complete blood count, blood urea nitrogen and creatinine tests, notes WebMD. Standard treatment options for multiple myeloma include stem cell transplantation, corticosteroids, chemotherapy and biological therapy, according to Mayo Clinic.

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