Symptoms of myeloma

Myeloma may not cause any symptoms in the beginning. Some people are diagnosed after a routine blood test, before any symptoms are noticed. Other people are diagnosed with myeloma after being admitted to hospital with more severe symptoms.

Symptoms may be caused by:

  • bone damage, which can cause pain, fractures, high calcium levels, pressure on the spine (spinal cord compression) or nerve problems 
  • a reduced number of normal blood cells, which may lead to anaemia, tiredness and infections
  • paraproteins in the blood or urine, which can cause kidney problems, hyperviscosity or blood clots.

Other symptoms may include a poor appetite, or changes in bowel habits.

We have more information about all these symptoms and how they are treated. There is also advice about what you can do to help manage the symptoms.

Back to Understanding myeloma

What is myeloma?

Myeloma is a cancer of plasma cells in the bone marrow. Plasma cells are a type of white blood cell.

Types of myeloma

There are different types of myeloma. There are also other conditions that affect plasma cells which are related to myeloma.