Multiple myeloma is a type of cancer that forms in the plasma cells. Plasma cells are cells that are found in the bone marrow and are an important part of a person’s immune system. While there is no cure for cancer, there are treatments those with relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma can try. These include carfilzomib, Kyprolis, SARCLISA, and Ninalaro. Other than medications it’s recommended that patients lead a healthy life with a good diet and lots of rest and exercise. Here are some warning signs of multiple myeloma that you should look out for:
1. Extreme thirst
One of the warning signs of multiple myeloma is hypercalcemia, which develops when there is a high level of calcium in the blood. Hypercalcemia forms when the bones release too much calcium into the bloodstream due to multiple myeloma. Hypercalcemia can cause a patient to become extremely thirsty and cause more frequent urination.
2. Bone pain
Bone pain caused by multiple myeloma is usually focused on the back, ribs or hips of the patient. The pain tends to be a persistent dull ache, which can be made worse when moving. Bone pain is caused when myeloma cells grow in the bone marrow and cortical bone, causing local bone damage or generalized thinning of the bone (osteoporosis) which leads to pain and discomfort.
3. Abdominal pain
As a result of multiple myeloma there can be general pain and discomfort in the abdomen. This is also a result of hypercalcemia caused by too much calcium being released into the bloodstream by affected bones. The abdominal pain is often associated with pain, nausea, and vomiting.
Fatigue as a result of cancer is often unable to be resolved with more rest as the cause is from the cancer cells taking energy from the rest of the body. Fatigue can be either physical or psychological and can severely affect a patient’s quality of life. Anemia, kidney damage, or immunosuppression can be the cause of fatigue when a patient has multiple myeloma as the whole body is affected by this disease.
5. Frequent infections
When you suffer from multiple myeloma you are at risk of frequent infections with a seven times higher chance of becoming infected with bacterial infections and a 18 times higher chance in the first year of having multiple myeloma of getting a viral infection. This is because the immune system is adversely affected by multiple myeloma.