NCCN Guidelines for Patients™: Multiple Myeloma
1.4 Symptoms of multiple myeloma
Bone damage and pain
Myeloma cells can cause bone damage when they crowd
out normal cells in the bone marrow. Areas of bone
damage are called bone lesions. Bone lesions can be
painful and weaken bones so they break (fracture) easily.
As shown in Figure 5, common sites of bone damage
from myeloma are the spine, skull, pelvis, rib cage, and
shoulders. The most common fracture site is the bones
(vertebrae) of the spine. Vertebral fractures can be very
painful, but they can also occur without any pain.
The kidneys are a pair of organs that filter blood to
remove waste, which leaves the body in urine. A
symptom of kidney damage is increased or decreased
urine output. The high levels of M-protein made by the
myeloma cells can cause kidney damage.
Myeloma can damage bone. Bone damage causes
calcium to be released into the bloodstream. Calcium is a
mineral needed for healthy bones. However, high levels
of calcium in the bloodstream can damage the kidneys.
Common areas of bone damage by myeloma
Illustration Copyright © 2012 Nucleus Medical Media, All rights reserved.