8 Steps to Diagnosing Multiple Myeloma in Bones

multiplemyeloma - Sriramakrishnahospital

Multiple myeloma also referred to as Kahler’s disease is a type of blood cancer that usually develops in the plasma cells of the bone marrow, which is a spongy tissue in between the bones. Usually a healthy bone marrow is responsible for producing plasma cells that help the body fight the infection. 

People with multiple myeloma can have plasma cells divide in an abnormal way that can lead to the crowding of other healthy cells. When these abnormal plasma cells are too crowded they leave excess protein in the blood leading to severe organ damage. These plasma cells may be triggered by chemical reactions to destroy the normal cells. 

What are the significant signs and symptoms of multiple myeloma?

Usually multiple myeloma symptoms may not show during the early stages. But as the disease progresses into the body the symptoms may begin to show. The most significant multiple myeloma symptoms include:

  • Bone pain
  • Constant diarrhea or constipation
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Increased thirst
  • Numbness or weakness in the arms and legs
  • Constant infections
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Confused state of mind
  • Loss of appetite

What are the major risk factors for developing multiple myeloma?

Age: 

Generally people above the age of 50 are at higher risk.

Environmental factors: 

Generally people who are exposed to certain chemicals like pesticides can increase the risk.

Obesity: 

People who have high obesity levels are also at increased risk. Reach out to a top cancer hospital in Coimbatore if you are at high risk for developing multiple myeloma.

Where does myeloma spread first?

Multiple myeloma usually begins in one cell of the bone marrow and gradually spreads to the cells of the bone marrow. And as the disease progresses it can affect several bones in the body including the spine bones. 

Why does myeloma lead to bone pain?

Osteoporosis, also known as localized bone destruction or generalized bone weakening, is a condition brought on by myeloma cells growing in the bone marrow and bone. This increases the risk of bone breaking. Although any bone might be impacted, the back or ribs are the most typical locations for bone pain.

What are the common diagnostic tests for multiple myeloma?

Multiple myeloma diagnosis can help in identifying if you need treatment right away. And also to confirm if you have, 

  • An active myeloma, which requires immediate treatment.
  • Smoldering myeloma, which may not require treatment immediately but may be in the future. 

Few diagnostic tests may also be performed to determine the efficiency of the multiple myeloma treatment. 

Complete blood count:

A full blood count, often known as an FBC, is a quick blood test that counts the number of each type of cell in your blood.

An FBC will determine if you have anemia, which can cause fatigue and breathlessness. Anaemia, which is brought on by a lack of red blood cells, is typical of myeloma patients.

Total immunoglobulin levels:

This evaluates your blood’s level of normal antibodies. A diagnosis of myeloma may be made if one or more of these numbers is abnormally high or low.

Immunofixation: 

The type of paraprotein in your blood is displayed by this. This data aids medical professionals in creating your treatment strategy. If a paraprotein is too small to be measured by serum protein electrophoresis, it can also be used to determine whether you still have one after treatment.

Serum calcium test:

Your calcium level is determined by this test. Blood calcium levels that are higher than usual may indicate that your myeloma has damaged your bones.

Bone marrow biopsy:

Not in the blood, but in the bone marrow, are plasma cells typically found. The bone marrow samples will be examined under a microscope to count the number of myeloma cells present and determine their exact number as well as their genetic makeup.

Bone marrow biopsies can be performed periodically, particularly if you begin treatment.

Imaging procedures:

A CT, PET-CT, or MRI scan may be performed on you to check for evidence of bone deterioration. Your entire body will be scanned, and it’s possible that some parts may get a closer examination.

In order to screen for areas of myeloma, your doctor might occasionally additionally request X-rays of some of the bones in your body.

B2M and albumin:

These blood tests check the levels of beta-2 microglobulin, often known as B2M (also written as ß2M), and albumin, two different blood proteins. Albumin levels may be lower and B2M levels may be greater than usual in myeloma.

The outcomes of these tests provide more details about the myeloma situation.

Lactate dehydrogenase:

This blood test assesses the amount of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), a chemical, in the body. A higher-than-normal level indicates that cells and tissues have been damaged.

How is multiple myeloma different from bone cancer?

Multiple myeloma is a blood cancer that begins in the bone marrow, whereas both types of cancer develop in the bones. Sometimes a single tumor in a bone represents multiple myeloma. Bone cancer is typically treated as a widespread disease since it has frequently spread to adjacent bones. Immediate treatment is important to avoid multiple myeloma complications.

Important Takeaway:

Once diagnosed with multiple myeloma it can be life changing and can be devastating. But with the right help and support you can always overcome multiple myeloma. Visit the best oncologist in Coimbatore if you are looking for multiple myeloma treatment. 


multiplemyeloma - Sriramakrishnahospital

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