Multiple Myeloma Symptoms, Causes & Treatments

Affecting nearly 100,000 patients in the United States, multiple myeloma is a far less common cancer than other types. Multiple myeloma begins in a plasma white blood cell and replicates within the bone marrow. Plasma cells are white blood cells that are tasked with producing antibodies to assist the body's immune system in defending against harmful pathogens. When these cells become cancerous, they produce mutated proteins that may interfere with the immune system's normal functions.

Symptoms and Risk Factors of Multiple Myeloma

Early detection of multiple myeloma may result in successful treatment; however, it is uncommon to view symptoms during the early stages of this condition. Symptoms are most typically experienced a few months after the onset of multiple myeloma. Here are a few symptoms that a patient with this condition may experience:

  • Appetite loss
  • Unexplained tiredness
  • Excessive weight loss
  • Frequent dehydration
  • Nausea and dizziness
  • Abdominal aches
  • Leg pain or numbness

Through studies and research, experts have identified five major factors that can greatly increase your risk of developing multiple myeloma. These factors include age, gender, race, genetics, and preexisting conditions.