Multiple Myeloma: Symptoms

What are the symptoms of multiple myeloma?

Multiple myeloma often does not cause symptoms at first. In fact, sometimes it’s only found after an abnormal blood or urine test.

When the condition does cause symptoms, the specific symptoms can be due to different problems this type of cancer can cause.

Symptoms from bone tumors include:

  • Bone pain, especially in your back, ribs, hips, and skull

  • Broken bones (pathologic fractures) caused by tumors

  • Numbness or weakness if the tumors affect the bones in your spine. This is most often felt in your feet or legs.

Symptoms from too much calcium (hypercalcemia) in your blood include:

  • Thirst

  • Urinating often

  • Constipation

  • Belly pain

  • Drowsiness or confusion

  • Loss of appetite

  • Weakness

Symptoms from your bone marrow not making enough normal blood cells include:

  • Weakness, tiredness, or shortness of breath. This is from having too few red blood cells (anemia).

  • Frequent infections. This is due to having too few white blood cells.

  • Frequent bleeding or bruising. This is from having too few platelets.

Symptoms from having too many antibodies (M proteins) in your blood (hyperviscosity) include:

  • Dizziness

  • Confusion

  • Hazy vision

  • Slurred speech

When to see your healthcare provider

Many of these symptoms can be caused by other health problems. But it is important to see your healthcare provider if you have these symptoms. Only a healthcare provider can tell if you have multiple myeloma.

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