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An Overview of Multiple Myeloma Test

30.09.2019 Posted By : Dr Ashok Rattan Share :
An Overview of Multiple Myeloma Test

The human bone comprises of a spongy tissue known as bone marrow. It is extremely vital for the routine functioning of the human body. It is responsible for the production of plasma cells, a type of WBC or white blood cells. It may happen that a cancerous cell is formed from the many millions of plasma cells. When the number of these cancerous cells exceed the healthy cells, the condition is termed as multiple myeloma.

Symptoms:

Initially, the patient might not find any outward sign indicating the presence of this condition. However, as the number of cancerous cells grows, the patient may start feeling signs such as pain in the bones, especially in the ribs, back, and skull. Some other signs and symptoms include:

  • Bone fracture
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Getting infections and fevers often
  • Changes in how often you need to pee
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Numbness, especially in your legs

Causes:

There is no exact indicator of why this may be caused. Some researches place an emphasis on updates to the DNA. This explanation indicates that people who fit the profile will have a higher risk than others. These are the markers for identifying high-risk individuals:

  • Age: People aged 45 or older are at higher risk.
  • Race: Its prevalence is found majorly in African-Americans.
  • Gender: Men have slightly higher chances than women.
  • People suffering from obesity
  • Heredity: If it runs in the family then the person is more likely to contract it

A patient may be at any of the 4 stages as below

  • Mild or smoldering myeloma
  • Stage I myeloma
  • Stage II myeloma
  • Stage III myeloma

Diagnosis

A combination of different tests and analyses will help your physician determine with certainty that you are indeed suffering from the condition. Some of the vital characteristics include a comprehensive physical examination, look at the signs and symptoms, assess the medical history and run diagnostic tests.  With the help of these tests, the physician can formulate a treatment plan with successful outcomes.

Blood tests:

The cancerous cells produce 2 types of proteins, M proteins, and beta-2-microglobulin. The presence of these proteins in your blood test will be a diagnosis for this condition. The severity of the condition too can be determined by the extent of spread or presence of these proteins in the blood. You may be advised to go through the below diagnostic tests to confirm that you are afflicted with a case of multiple myeloma.

  • Complete blood count
  • Chemistry profile
  • Beta2 microglobulin
  • Antibody/immunoglobulin levels and types
  • Serum protein electrophoresis
  • Immunofixation electrophoresis
  • Serum-free light chain assay can be done

Urine tests:

Analysis of your urine through these tests may confirm the presence of M proteins, (or Bence Jones proteins).

  • Urinalysis
  • Urine protein level
  • Urine protein electrophoresis can be done.

If you find any of the signs of multiple myeloma, it is advised to get a complete blood test and urine analysis done. This will help the doctor confirm if you are indeed suffering from multiple myeloma or not.

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