Multiple Myeloma: Symptoms & Treatment

While multiple myeloma is a rather uncommon blood cancer, the team at SSM Health Cancer Care is equipped to treat you, providing you with the personalized, present care you seek.

Multiple myeloma causes the overproduction of abnormal plasma cells in the bone marrow, reducing the body’s infection fighting antibodies. These overproduced plasma cells can cause a myriad of problems, including:

  • Tumors that have the ability to destroy normal bone tissue
  • Increased calcium in the bloodstream
  • Overwhelming the bone marrow, preventing proper functioning of healthy cells:
    • Prohibit white blood cells from fighting infection
    • Inhibit production of platelets
    • Overproduction of antibodies

Signs & Symptoms of Multiple Myeloma

Because multiple myeloma can negatively affect so many parts of the body, the signs and symptoms do not always follow a predetermined path. They often mimic other conditions. If you’re experiencing any of the following though, call your primary care physician. They’ll meet with you, discuss next steps, and likely order a round of blood tests.

Symptoms can include:

  • Anemia
  • Hypercalcemia (excessive calcium in the blood)
  • Low blood counts
  • Osteoporosis, bone pain, bone swelling or fracture
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Frequent urination
  • Sudden, severe back pain
  • Numbness in the legs
  • Confusion, drowsiness or weakness
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dehydration
  • Severe constipation

Treating Multiple Myeloma

After a diagnosis, your doctor will order the necessary tests to properly stage your cancer. Your SSM Health cancer team will then meet with you to discuss available treatment options. Your treatment plan may include one or a combination of the following:

  • Chemotherapy and other drugs
  • Bisphosphonates
  • Radiation
  • Surgery
  • Stem cell transplant
  • Plasmapheresis

We encourage you to discuss all of your possible treatment options, including their potential outcomes and side effects. Our doctors want to help you make the right treatment decision for you.

After Multiple Myeloma Treatment

There might be phases where you do not receive treatment for your multiple myeloma. Generally, though, your treatment is ongoing. We’ll meet with you regularly to monitor your condition and modify your treatment plan as needed.

The doctors at SSM Health are here to help you with diagnosis, treatment and beyond. Find an SSM Health cancer specialist and begin your path to wellness.

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