Multiple myeloma is a form of cancer that affects your blood. This disease presents itself in various ways, from bone pain to mental fog. Knowing the symptoms is one of the best ways to catch the disease early on, making it easier to diagnose and treat.
At Hunterdon Oncology and Hematology, LLC, our team of renowned experts helps you when you’re suffering from a blood disorder or cancer. Leading our team are five hematology and oncology specialists. Our team offers cutting-edge treatments when you find yourself with multiple myeloma.
What is multiple myeloma?
Multiple myeloma is a type of cancer that affects the plasma cells in your blood. These cells are a type of white blood cell, and they’re an important part of your immune system.
Your plasma cells help your body fight off foreign invaders, such as bacteria or viruses that could harm you. They do this by producing antibodies, which are able to detect and eliminate most pathogens that get into your body.
Multiple myeloma happens when your plasma cells mutate into cancerous cells. These cells then migrate into your bone marrow, where they clump together and push out your healthy plasma cells.
These cancerous plasma cells then make abnormal proteins instead of antibodies, which leads to complications and uncomfortable symptoms. Multiple myeloma is a rare form of cancer, but it’s just as dangerous as any other form of the disease.
8 common symptoms of multiple myeloma
In the early stages of multiple myeloma, you may not have any symptoms at all. However, as the diseased plasma cells begin to accumulate in your bone marrow, you may suffer from numerous symptoms.
The symptoms you experience depend on how advanced the disease is. Eight of the most common symptoms of multiple myeloma include:
- Bone pain
- Weight loss
- Excessive thirst
- Extreme fatigue
- Brain fog
- Frequent infections
You may also notice that you’re bleeding more easily than normal, or bruising frequently. The decrease in healthy plasma cells prevents production of adequate platelets in your blood. Platelets are a vital component of blood clotting, which is why their absence makes you bleed more easily.
You may experience all of these symptoms or only a few. It depends on how much bone marrow is affected by the cancerous plasma cells and in which parts of your body.
When to seek treatment
It’s hard to believe, but you may not actually need treatment right away with multiple myeloma. For instance, if the disease is moving slowly and you don’t have many symptoms, our team simply recommends monitoring you to evaluate your condition.
If you’re exhibiting signs and symptoms of multiple myeloma, you should seek treatment from our team as soon as possible. At our facility, our team of oncology specialists evaluates your symptoms and uses diagnostic tools like lab testing or a bone marrow biopsy.
The team offers several treatments based on the severity of your disease. They may include chemotherapy, radiation, or immunotherapy. They also provide corticosteroids and stem cell therapy or bone marrow transplants to ease your symptoms and control multiple myeloma.
If you’re exhibiting signs of multiple myeloma, don’t hesitate to call our office in Flemington, New Jersey at 908-788-6461, or schedule an appointment online with one of our expert doctors today.