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Multiple Myeloma: Symptoms

What are the symptoms of multiple myeloma?

Multiple myeloma often does not cause symptoms at first. Sometimes it’s only found after a blood or urine test that was done for another reason.

When myeloma does cause symptoms, they tend to be linked to the different problems this type of cancer can cause. For instance:

Symptoms from bone tumors include:

  • Bone pain, especially in your back, ribs, hips, and skull. This is the most common symptom.

  • Broken bones (pathologic fractures) caused by tumors

  • Numbness or weakness if the tumors affect the bones in your spine. This is most often felt in your feet or legs.

Symptoms from too much calcium (hypercalcemia) in your blood include:

  • Extreme thirst

  • Urinating often

  • Constipation

  • Belly pain

  • Drowsiness or confusion

  • Upset stomach (nausea)

  • Loss of appetite

  • Weakness

  • Kidney damage

Symptoms from your bone marrow not making enough normal blood cells include:

  • Weakness, extreme tiredness (fatigue), or shortness of breath. This is from having too few red blood cells (anemia).

  • Frequent infections and fever. This is due to having too few white blood cells.

  • Easy bleeding or bruising. This is from having too few platelets.

When to see your healthcare provider

Many of these symptoms can be caused by other health problems. See your healthcare provider if you have these symptoms. Only a healthcare provider can tell if you have multiple myeloma.

Online Medical Reviewer: Kimberly Stump-Sutliff RN MSN AOCNS
Online Medical Reviewer: L Renee Watson MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Todd Gersten MD
Date Last Reviewed: 3/1/2021
© 2021 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare provider's instructions.