Symptoms of Myeloma
Myeloma can cause a range of symptoms because of its effect on the bones, bone marrow, blood, urine and kidneys. However, different people with myeloma can have different symptoms, and most will only have one or two symptoms.
The most common symptoms of myeloma include:
- bone pain or a broken bone that has not been caused by an obvious injury
- frequent infections or an infection that is hard to shake off
- tiredness, shortness of breath or a racing heart, caused by a low level of red blood cells (anaemia)
- kidney problems, caused by the excess amounts of paraprotein produced by the myeloma cells
- feeling sick, drowsy or confused, because of too much calcium in the blood (hypercalcaemia)
- abnormal blood counts, because myeloma cells may stop the bone marrow from making enough normal blood cells.
Other conditions can cause these symptoms, so not everyone with these changes will have myeloma. However, if you are concerned or the symptoms are ongoing, see your general practitioner (GP) for a check-up.
Dr Jane Estell, Senior Staff Specialist, Haematology Department, Concord Cancer Centre, and Senior Clinical Lecturer, The University of Sydney; Brenda Clasquin, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council NSW; Jacqui Keogh, Senior Myeloma Support Nurse, Myeloma Australia; Dr Silvia Ling, Haematologist, Liverpool Hospital and Sydney Adventist Hospital; and John Miller, Consumer.
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