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Symptoms of Multiple Myeloma

  • Michael Jubinville, MPH
Publication Type:

Condition InDepth

Symptoms of Multiple Myeloma

Multiple myeloma (MM) symptoms usually do not appear until it is in later stages. It develops slowly over many years. In many people, it is found during routine blood or urine testing. In those that have them, symptoms depend on where the tumor is and what types of blood cells are affected.

If you have these, do not think it is because of MM. Other, less serious conditions can cause these problems. But, you should still talk to your doctor about them. Finding and treating the cause early will improve the chances for a cure.

Common Symptoms

The most common problems caused by MM are:

  • Bone pain—Mainly in the back, hips, ribs, or skull. Bone tissue is broken down faster than it is built up. This causes the bones to weaken. Bone pain can also be caused by growing tumors.
  • Broken bones—Weak bones increase the risk of breaks. Even small breaks will cause pain.
  • Unintended weight loss


  • General information about plasma cell neoplasms. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: https://www.cancer.gov/types/myeloma/patient/myeloma-treatment-pdq#_1.
  • Multiple myeloma. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116888/Multiple-myeloma.
  • Multiple myeloma. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/hematology-and-oncology/plasma-cell-disorders/multiple-myeloma.
  • Signs and symptoms. Leukemia & Lymphoma Society website. Available at: https://www.lls.org/disease-information/myeloma/signs-and-symptoms.
  • Signs and symptoms of multiple myeloma. American Cancer Society website. Available at: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/multiple-myeloma/detection-diagnosis-staging/signs-symptoms.html.


  • Mohei Abouzied, MD, FACP
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.