Multiple Myeloma Diagnosis and Treatment Offered by Experienced Cancer Specialists
Multiple myeloma is a cancer that is caused by the growth of cancerous plasma cells into multiple plasmacytomas, or plasma tumors. Plasma cells exist primarily within the bone marrow and create antibodies to help kill germs and prevent infections. When plasma cells become cancerous and develop tumors, this can not only cause the antibodies to work incorrectly, but can also hinder the development of new cells. This can result in a significant decrease in the numbers of white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets in the blood, leading to other health issues. Because of this, the symptoms of multiple myeloma often include weakened bones, drowsiness, confusion, weakness, and easy bruising.
Many patients don’t develop multiple myeloma symptoms until more advanced stages of their condition. There are, however, several tests that may be used to diagnose the condition as early as possible, including:
- Lab tests on the blood or urine to test for abnormal levels of different cells, proteins, chemicals, electrolytes, etc.
- Biopsy tests, particularly on the bone marrow, to test for cancerous cells or an excess of plasma cells
- Imaging tests, including bone x-rays, CT (CAT) scans, MRI scans, and PET scans, to search for visible signs of plasmacytomas or the damage they can cause
Tampa General Hospital is a multidisciplinary cancer center, meaning our surgeons, oncologists, and other medical professionals collaborate to address blood cancer symptoms and provide comprehensive, compassionate, patient-focused treatment at our hematology/oncology clinic. For a physician referral, please use our PhysicianFinder tool or call 813-844-7585.