The symptoms of multiple myeloma might develop slowly over time. Habitually, the initial stage of multiple myeloma is considered asymptomatic, which displays no symptoms and symptoms continue to remain hidden until this disease gets to an advanced stage.
In a few cases, multiple myeloma gets discovered at the time of a test for diagnosing another condition or a routine blood test. It is important to note that the symptoms of multiple myeloma do vary from person to person and the signs comprise the following:
- Feelings of weakness or fatigue.
- Bone pain, habitually in the ribs or back.
Shortness of breath.
- Weight loss.
- Fevers or recurrent infections.
- Unexplained bone fractures, commonly, in the spine.
- Increased thirst.
Besides the symptoms, a patient suffering from multiple myeloma might also develop conditions such as:
Lesser blood count
In this disease, the malignant cells substitute the healthy blood-forming cells, and it might result in anaemia. This, in turn, causes fatigue, a feeling of weakness, shortness of breath, leukopenia, and they augment the dangers of infections.
When the unusual antibody proteins plus high blood calcium levels do build-up from the dissolved bone tissue, then it results in kidney problems.
When the osteoclasts dissolve bone tissue fast, calcium is discharged into the blood. Hypercalcemia is the result of huge levels of calcium present in the blood, and it can cause thirst, excessive thirst, dehydration, nausea, frequent urination, constipation besides dizziness, mental confusion, and in the worst conditions, coma.
Compression of the spinal cord
Multiple myeloma might make collapsing, or weakened bone structures, like vertebrae that might result in spinal cord compression, numbness, pain, or tingling might be a symptom of pressure on the patient’s spinal cord. This also results in paralysis when fast medical intervention isn’t an option.
Features of Multiple Myeloma-
Low Blood Counts-
In the Multiple Myeloma, the overgrowth of plasma cells in the bone marrow can exhale the healthy blood-forming cells. This leads to low blood counts. The small blood counts can further cause-
- It causes anaemia that is a shortage in the count of red blood cells. People who face these issues are usually weak and fatigued.
- Multiple Myeloma also causes the level of platelets counts low. This further leads to an increase in bleeding and bruising.
Bone and Calcium Problems-
Multiple Myeloma cells interfere with healthy bone keeping cells. In our body, bones are continually being made that keep them healthy. There are two kinds of cells, which keeps bones healthy and active-
- Osteoclasts- Helps to break down old bone
- Osteoblasts- Helps in building new bone
Myeloma cells in our body push osteoclasts to speed up breaking down the bone, without new bones to replace it. This leads to breakage of bones, and this is the major problem with Myeloma. This further increases the breakdown of bones and raise in the calcium levels in the blood.
When plasma cells turn abnormal, they are not capable of protecting the body from infections attacking. Our body with plasma cells produces enough antibodies helping to attack germs.
The antibody created by the myeloma cells is not much strong enough to fight against infections. This is because myeloma cells are copies of similar plasma cells.
Complications in Multiple Myeloma-
There are different complications which a person may face once he or she comes under the attack of Multiple Myeloma. These include
As the cancer cells keep growing, bones get weaker and start collapsing. This leads to strain in the spinal cord and bone fracture.
The more cells of Multiple Myeloma grows; there will be a decrease in red blood cells. This further leads to tiredness and causes heart problems.
During the growth of Myeloma, the body produces enough weak antibodies, bringing down the number of healthy ones. This further makes these bones and cells harder to fight against the infection. A body with a lack of white blood cells weakens the immune system.