Multiple Myeloma is a cancer that starts in the bone marrow. Just like any type of cancer, it’s important to catch it early on to give you the best chance of long-term remissions and overall survival. Here are some key signs and symptoms of myeloma:
- Exhaustion: unusual level of fatigue that fails to go away, even accompanied with a healthy diet and adequate rest.
- Anemia: a critically low level of red blood cells in the body, which results in overwhelming fatigue.
- Bone pain: bones thin and weaken, resulting in mild/moderate pain around bones and occasionally osteoporosis. Usually more noticeable in the morning and evening and with increased movement.
- Numbness: most commonly found within the spine, due to vertebrae weakening.
- Kidney problems: damage or failure due to unnecessary pressure on kidneys.
- Hypercalcemia: high calcium content in blood because of bone breakdown. Can lead to exhaustion, constipation and kidney issues.
- Rapid weight loss: especially when no lifestyle changes are made. Due to appetite suppression.
- Mental confusion: less common in early stages. Body sends confusing signals to brain.
- Frequent illnesses: reduces number of healthy cells that typically fight infections.
Although not all of these symptoms automatically diagnose multiple myeloma, it is important to watch for these changes to avoid further risk.
If you do have any of these symptoms and are diagnosed with multiple myeloma, your first step should be to find a multiple myeloma specialist who can help you navigate this complex blood cancer.