Multiple myeloma is a cancer of the blood and bone marrow that often does not have any recognizable symptoms until it has progressed to an advanced stage. It’s important to recognize the early signs and symptoms of multiple myeloma so that you can seek treatment as soon as possible. Here are some of the early warning signs to look out for.
Fatigue and Weakness
One of the earliest warning signs of multiple myeloma is persistent fatigue and weakness, especially if it interferes with daily activities. This may be due to anemia (low levels of red blood cells), which can result from a lack of healthy plasma cells in the bone marrow or from increased kidney workload caused by an accumulation of toxic substances in the bloodstream (called “Bence Jones protein”).
Multiple myeloma can cause pain in various parts of your body, especially in your bones. This type of pain often occurs at night or when you move, and it may become worse over time. Bone pain associated with multiple myeloma is usually described as a dull ache that may affect one area or multiple areas. It’s important to note that this type of pain can also be caused by other conditions, such as arthritis or osteoporosis, so it’s best to consult your doctor if you experience any type of bone pain.
Another common symptom associated with multiple myeloma is frequent infections. Your immune system relies on healthy plasma cells to fight off bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens; if these cells become depleted due to cancerous growths in the bone marrow, you may be more susceptible to infection than normal. These infections may range from mild colds and flu-like illnesses to more serious bacterial infections that require antibiotics for treatment.
If any of these symptoms persist for more than two weeks it would be wise to speak with your doctor about getting tested for multiple myeloma or other illnesses related to these same symptoms. Additionally, it helps if you keep track of your symptoms as this information can be helpful both in diagnosing and treating your condition. Your doctor may ask questions such as “When did your symptoms start?” “How severe are they?” “What makes them better or worse?” Keeping detailed notes on these answers will help you explain your situation clearly and accurately during appointments with your physician.
What are the signs and symptoms of multiple myeloma?
Multiple myeloma can cause a range of symptoms, and some people may not experience any symptoms at all. Common signs and symptoms of multiple myeloma may include bone pain, particularly in the back, ribs, and skull; fatigue and weakness; recurrent infections; unexplained weight loss; nausea and vomiting; and increased thirst and urination. Other potential symptoms may include anemia, which can cause fatigue and shortness of breath, and kidney problems, which can cause swelling in the hands and feet, and changes in urine color and frequency. If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to speak with your healthcare provider for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
Can multiple myeloma be found early?
Yes, multiple myeloma can be found early, although it can be difficult to diagnose in its early stages, as many of the symptoms may be nonspecific or attributed to other conditions. Some screening tests, such as blood tests and urine tests, may be used to detect abnormal levels of certain proteins or markers that are associated with multiple myeloma. Imaging tests, such as X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs, may also be used to look for signs of bone damage or other abnormalities. Regular check-ups and screenings may be recommended for people who are at higher risk of developing multiple myeloma, such as those with a family history of the disease, or a history of certain blood disorders or autoimmune conditions. If you are concerned about your risk of developing multiple myeloma, speak with your healthcare provider to discuss your options for screening and early detection.
How is multiple myeloma diagnosed?
Multiple myeloma is typically diagnosed through a combination of physical exams, laboratory tests, and imaging studies. To diagnose multiple myeloma, your healthcare provider may perform blood tests to look for abnormal levels of certain proteins or markers, such as monoclonal antibodies or light chains.
Urine tests may also be used to detect abnormal levels of these proteins. Imaging tests, such as X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs, may be used to look for signs of bone damage or other abnormalities. A bone marrow biopsy may also be performed, in which a small sample of bone marrow is removed and examined for the presence of abnormal cells.
In some cases, additional tests, such as genetic testing or flow cytometry, may be used to help confirm a diagnosis of multiple myeloma. If you are experiencing symptoms that may be related to multiple myeloma, it’s important to speak with your healthcare provider for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
Can multiple myeloma cause back pain?
Yes, multiple myeloma can cause back pain, as well as pain in other bones in the body. In fact, bone pain is one of the most common symptoms of multiple myeloma, and may be one of the first symptoms to appear. The pain is often described as a deep, aching sensation, and may be worse at night or during activity. The back, ribs, and skull are among the most common sites of bone pain in people with multiple myeloma. In addition to bone pain, multiple myeloma can cause a range of other symptoms, including fatigue, weakness, recurrent infections, unexplained weight loss, and kidney problems. If you are experiencing back pain or any other symptoms that may be related to multiple myeloma, it’s important to speak with your healthcare provider for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
What is a relapse of multiple myeloma?
A relapse of multiple myeloma refers to a return of the disease after a period of remission. Remission is a period during which there are no signs or symptoms of the disease, and there is no detectable evidence of multiple myeloma in blood tests or imaging studies. Unfortunately, multiple myeloma often returns after a period of remission, and this is known as a relapse. The risk of relapse depends on several factors, including the stage of the disease at diagnosis, the response to treatment, and other individual factors. Treatment for a relapse of multiple myeloma may include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, stem cell transplant, or targeted therapy, among other options. If you have been diagnosed with multiple myeloma and are concerned about the risk of relapse, speak with your healthcare provider to discuss your options for monitoring and managing the disease.
What is the treatment for relapsed multiple myeloma?
The treatment for relapsed myeloma depends on several factors, including the individual’s age, overall health, previous treatments, and the specific characteristics of the cancer.
Welling Homeopathy developed Immuno-knife is one of the leading treatment for relapsed multiple myeloma.
There are several other treatment options for relapsed myeloma, including:
- Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy drugs may be used to kill cancer cells and slow the progression of the disease.
- Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy may be used to target cancer cells and relieve pain.
- Targeted therapy: Targeted therapy drugs may be used to target specific proteins or pathways involved in the growth of cancer cells.
- Immunotherapy: Immunotherapy drugs may be used to stimulate the immune system to attack cancer cells.
- Stem cell transplant: Stem cell transplant may be used to replace damaged bone marrow with healthy stem cells.
- Clinical trials: Clinical trials may be available for individuals with relapsed myeloma who are interested in trying new or experimental treatments.
Your healthcare provider will work with you to develop a treatment plan that is tailored to your individual needs and goals. It’s important to speak openly and honestly with your healthcare team about your preferences, concerns, and questions related to your treatment options.
When to meet a specialist?
It’s important to remember that these symptoms are not necessarily indicative of multiple myeloma; they can also be caused by other conditions or simply due to a lack of rest or proper nutrition. However, if you experience any combination or number of these symptoms on a regular basis, it’s best to consult your doctor right away for further evaluation and testing. Early diagnosis is key when it comes to effectively treating multiple myeloma; don’t wait until your symptoms become severe before seeking help!