Several blood tests are used to diagnose myeloma.
The main blood test is called serum protein electrophoresis. This measures the level of paraprotein in your blood. Another blood test called the serum free light chain assay may be used to check for a form of paraprotein known as free light chains
These check for too few red blood cells (anaemia), too much calcium in the blood (hypercalcaemia), and how well your kidneys are working.
Once myeloma has been diagnosed, further blood tests will help your doctor work out the stage of the disease.
Changes in the level of paraprotein or free light chains indicate changes in the activity of the myeloma. If you are diagnosed with myeloma, your paraprotein and/or serum free light chain levels will be monitored to see how well treatment is working and to check that the myeloma is stable during periods when you are not having treatment. Blood tests are important for assessing the effect of myeloma on your normal body function.
Prof John Gibson, Haematologist, Institute of Haematology, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and The University of Sydney, NSW; Dr Stephanie Anderson, Registrar, Institute of Haematology, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, NSW; Tanya Carney, Consumer; Jacqui Keogh, NSW State Manager/Senior Myeloma Nurse NSW, Myeloma Australia; Dr Silvia Ling, Haematologist, Liverpool Hospital, NSW; Rachel McCann, Myeloma Support Nurse NSW, Myeloma Australia; John McMath, Consumer; Karen Robinson, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council NSW.
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