Multiple Myeloma Symptoms
Multiple myeloma, though rare, is the second most common hematological cancer. It affects the plasma cells in the bone marrow and interferes with the production of blood cells. While there is no known cure, there are many treatments available that are extending the lives of patients.
Symptoms of multiple myeloma can be vague and often confused with other ailments. Oftentimes, patients can go years without noticing symptoms, seeking medical care, and receiving a proper diagnosis.
Generally, symptoms of multiple myeloma include:
- Fatigue, typically related to anemia
- Bone injuries (including broken bones) and pain, especially in the chest, back, pelvis, ribs and skull
- Repeated infections and illnesses, including pneumonia
- Unintended weight loss
- Weakness and numbness in the legs
- Night sweats
- Kidney problems, including kidney failure
- High levels of calcium in the blood
- Mental confusion and forgetfulness
- Loss of appetite
- Excessive thirst
- Shortness of breath, dizziness, and difficulty doing normal exercises
- Frequent urination
- Abdominal pain
- Bruising and rashes
There are no known causes of multiple myeloma.
about the author
Lizzy Smith was diagnosed with myeloma in 2012 at age 44. Within days, she left her job, ended her marriage, moved, and entered treatment. "To the extent I'm able, I want to prove that despite life's biggest challenges, it is possible to survive and come out stronger than ever," she says.