misc image

Multiple Myeloma

Multiple Myeloma

About Multiple Myeloma

Multiple myeloma is a rare type of cancer that affects about 100,000 people in the United States. If you have multiple myeloma, there are treatment solutions at Arizona Center for Cancer Care. The cancer specialists design a care plan using radiation therapy, surgery, or other treatments to get rid of cancer and prevent it from spreading. Call the office in Tempe, Chandler, Gilbert, Sun City, Glendale, Mesa, Phoenix, Wickenburg, Surprise, Anthem, Peoria, Fountain Hills, Apache Junction, Goodyear, Sun City West, Avondale, or Scottsdale, Arizona, to schedule an appointment. You can also book an in-person or telehealth appointment online at any time.

Multiple Myeloma Q & A

What is multiple myeloma?

Multiple myeloma is a type of cancer that forms in a plasma cell, a type of white blood cell that produces antibodies to help your immune system fight germs and infections.

When you have multiple myeloma, cancerous cells build up in your bone marrow and overcrowd healthy blood cells. That causes cells to produce abnormal proteins rather than needed antibodies, which can lead to complications.

The underlying cause of multiple myeloma isn’t well understood, but risk factors for this type of cancer can include:

  • Aging
  • Being male
  • Being of African American descent
  • Having a family history of multiple myeloma

You might also be at a higher risk of developing multiple myeloma if you have monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS), a noncancerous condition that causes an increase in certain proteins in your blood.

What are the symptoms of multiple myeloma?

Symptoms of multiple myeloma can range from mild to severe and affect people differently.

In the earliest stages of the disease, you may not have any symptoms. As multiple myeloma progresses, you might experience:

  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Excessive thirst
  • Persistent fatigue
  • Confusion or mental fogginess
  • Leg weakness or numbness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Frequent infections

Multiple myeloma may also cause bone pain, especially in the areas of your spine or chest.

Arizona Center for Cancer Care can confirm a multiple myeloma diagnosis. You may need a urine or blood test, diagnostic imaging, or a biopsy of your bone marrow to determine the stage of cancer.

Based on the results of your testing, the cancer specialists design a treatment plan to destroy cancerous cells so they don’t spread to other areas of your body.

How is multiple myeloma treated?

If you have multiple myeloma but aren’t experiencing any symptoms, you might not need treatment right away. Arizona Center for Cancer Care offers services to monitor your condition to determine when treatment might be necessary.

If you’re already experiencing symptoms or the cancer is worsening, you might be a candidate for treatment with:

  • Immunotherapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Targeted therapy
  • Radiation therapy

In advanced cases of multiple myeloma, you might need a bone marrow transplant. That procedure involves replacing diseased marrow with stem cells that regenerate into healthy, new bone marrow.

Arizona Center for Cancer Care also offers access to clinical trials to test new cancer medications and therapies. The specialists can determine if you’re a candidate for trial participation during your consultation.

In addition to treating multiple myeloma, you may need treatments to address or prevent complications of the disease. That may include getting vaccines to protect against the flu and other infections or taking medications to rebuild your bones.

Some people may also need surgery or pain management services to relieve bone pain that develops due to multiple myeloma.

If you have multiple myeloma, schedule a consultation at the Arizona Center for Cancer Care office nearest you or book an appointment online today.