Multiple myeloma is a cancer of your plasma cells. Plasma cells are a type of white blood cell present in your bone marrow — the soft, blood-producing tissue that fills in the center of most of your bones. The exact cause of multiple myeloma isn’t known.
Although multiple myeloma may not cause symptoms early in the disease, it’s likely that you’ll experience symptoms as the disease progresses.
Signs and symptoms of the disease can vary from person to person. One of the most common symptoms, however, is bone pain. A common sign is the presence of abnormal proteins, which can be produced by myeloma cells, in your blood or urine. These proteins which are antibodies or parts of antibodies — are called monoclonal, or M, proteins.
Often discovered during a routine exam, monoclonal proteins may indicate multiple myeloma, but also can indicate other conditions.
Common potential sign of multiple myeloma is a high level of calcium in your blood. This can occur when calcium from affected bones dissolves into your blood. As a result, you may experience signs and symptoms such as:
Excessive thirst and urination
Loss of appetite
Plasma cells usually make up less than 5 percent of the cells in your bone marrow. But if you have multiple myeloma, a group of abnormal plasma cells (myeloma cells) multiplies, raising the percentage of plasma cells to more than 10 percent of the cells in your bone marrow. The result can be erosion of your bones. The disease also interferes with the function of your bone marrow and immune system, which can lead to anemia and infection. Multiple myeloma may also cause problems with your kidneys.
We urge you to gather more information on myeloma so that you can easily recognize the signs if you do encounter such a situation. Knowing the symptoms early can save a life! Be it your life, or a life of your loved ones. Find out more about Myeloma today!