Multiple myeloma is a cancer which affects plasma cells. Plasma cells are a sort of white blood cells which produce antibodies necessary for fighting infections. In case of multiple myeloma the number of plasma cells is abnormally high. This can lead to health problems with the blood, immune system, bones and kidneys.
The symptoms of multiple myeloma may not be present in the early stage of the disease. In the later stages of the disease symptoms appear but they can be different from one person to another. The signs and symptoms of multiple myeloma include pain in the bones especially in the back ribs, skull and pelvis. If increased amount of calcium in the blood is a consequence of multiple myeloma, this can cause constipation, sickness, appetite loss, mental disorders, extreme thirst and excessive urge to pass urine. If multiple myeloma affected the bones you may experience fatigue, frequent bone fractures, various infections of the kidneys, skin, lungs or sinuses, loss of weight or leg numbness.
As far as complications are concerned, multiple myeloma carries a certain risk of complications. These complications include weakened immunity, problems with the bones, problems with the kidneys and anemia. Since plasma cells produce antibodies which fight infections, in case of multiple myeloma this function is obstructed. You body will not have enough antibodies to prevent infections, so you will be prone to develop various diseases. These diseases include sinusitis, pneumonia infections of the bladder or kidneys and skin infections. Problems with the bones which are a consequence of multiple myeloma may cause bone mass erosion. This condition can lead to unexplained fractures of your bones. It can also cause spinal cord density which manifest in numbness in your legs. Too much calcium in the blood and erosion of the bones can obstruct kidney function. In this case, multiple myeloma can lead to kidney failure. The cells affected by cancer can outnumber the normal cells in the blood which can lead to anemia.The treatment for multiple myeloma depends on the severity of your condition. If you have no symptoms or very mild symptoms, your doctor will probably just monitor your condition on regular basis. The cancer can be treated with radiation chemotherapy or oral medications. However, if multiple myeloma has led to some of the complications, you will also receive the treatment for the particular complication. The doctors may prescribe some painkillers to relieve the pain in the bones or some antibiotics to treat various infections. In case of kidney failure, dialysis may be necessary.