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 checks for a form of paraprotein known as free light chains.
Other blood tests
These check for low 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. Levels of paraprotein or free light chains can indicate changes in the activity of the 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 when you aren’t having treatment.
Blood tests are also an important way to check if the myeloma is changing your normal body function.
Podcast: Tests and Cancer
Dr Ian Bilmon, Haematologist, Westmead Hospital and The Sydney Adventist Hospital; Martin Boling, Consumer; Catherine Bowley, Myeloma Support Nurse, Myeloma Australia; Dr Samuel Dickson, Radiation Oncologist, Calvary Mater Newcastle; Rachelle Frith, Clinical Nurse Consultant, Haematology, Prince of Wales Hospital; Dr Wojt Janowski, Haematologist, Calvary Mater Newcastle; Yvonne King, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council NSW.
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