Multiple Myeloma: Definition and Early Symptoms

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Multiple myeloma is a blood cancer that causes abnormal uncontrolled growth of a type of white blood cells called plasma cells. The affected plasma cells-now cancer cells-  rather than producing helpful antibodies they end up producing abnormal proteins, M Proteins, also known as paraprotein, that can cause harm to different body parts such as kidney and bones.

Myeloma cells unlike most cancers that exist as tumor or lump, multiplies and affects several bone marrow sites hence its name 'Multiple myeloma'. It's in the bone marrow where formations of blood cells such as normal white blood cells, platelets, and red blood cells take place. Multiple Myeloma cells crowd out the formations of these cells, resulting to a higher risk of infections, fatigue, anemia,  increased bleeding and bruising, and breakdown of bones leading to bone fractures.

Pathology microscopic of bone biopsy of multiple myeloma


Multiple myeloma cells attacks on blood cells and bones, result to overall effects on all body activities involving blood cells and bones such as immune system hence higher risk of infections, absorption of nutrients hence loss of weight and excessive thirsty as lots of water and nutrients are not absorbed as required by the body. Abnormal growth of cells and release of paraprotein results to the breakdown of bones hence bone fracture leading to the high-level release of calcium to the blood which affects kidney absorption potential. Fatigue is usually caused by anemia.

Multiple myeloma early symptoms.


Multiple myeloma symptoms can vary from person to person, sometimes during the early stages, there may be none.

When signs and symptoms do occur, they can include:
  • Frequent infections
  • Increased bleeding and bruising
  • Weight loss
  • Bone pains especially in back or chest
  • Numbness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Constipation
  • Excessive thirsty
You should make an appointment with your doctor when u experience persistent unexplained above symptoms.

Is Multiple myemola treatable?

Multiple myeloma is treatable, Yes. Treatments focus on controlling the disease, relieving symptoms and prolonging life. Unfortunately, there is no cure for Multiple myeloma.

Myeloma is relapsing-remitting cancer. That means it alternates between periods of symptoms and/or complications that need to be treated, and a stable period that does not cause symptoms and does not require treatment (remission).


A relapse is when myeloma returns or becomes active again after a period of treatment.



Risk factors 

There is no known definitive cause of Multiple myeloma, although doctors believe there are factors that may increase your risk of Multiple myeloma.


  • Age: Older people mostly above 65 are at high risk to develop the disease than the younger ones.
  • Male sex: Women are at lower risk compared to men
  • Black race: Black people are at twice a risk compared to white people
  • A family member with it: Many people diagnosed with this disease had a family member with it, so you are at risk if any of your family members was once diagnosed with a disease.
  • Overweight or obese: Obese people are at high risk of Multiple myeloma

Also if u had being in contact with chemicals used in rubber manufacturing, woodworking, or firefighting; or in herbicides, you are also at high risk of the disease.



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