Myeloma

Multiple myeloma is an uncommon cancer formed by abnormal plasma cells in the bone marrow. But of all blood cancers, only non-Hodgkin lymphoma has more diagnosed cases each year in the United States.

Myeloma cells can form tumors in the bone marrow and spread to damage bone tissue. They can also cause bone marrow cells to strip calcium from the bone, creating soft spots called osteolytic lesions. The result is weakened bones and increased risk of fractures and bone pain.

The Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute is among the few centers in Connecticut with specialized orthopedic oncology experts treating complications of myeloma and offering stereotactic body radiation for painful lesions.


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Symptoms of Multiple Myeloma

If you have multiple myeloma, you might not experience any symptoms. You also might report a nonspecific symptom that our providers can’t observe.

Some people experience:

  • Pain in the back or bones
  • Anemia, fatigue and/or loss of appetite
  • Constipation
  • Hypercalcemia, a condition in which the calcium level in your blood is above normal
  • Kidney damage
  • Weight loss

Diagnosing Multiple Myeloma

Your doctor can recommend tests, starting with a physical exam, to determine if you have multiple myeloma.

They might include:

  • Blood tests
  • Bone marrow biopsy
  • Diagnostic imaging tests like MRI, CT scan, PET scan and X-ray
  • Molecular testing of a tumor

Treating Multiple Myeloma

The prognosis for multiple myeloma is gradually improving as a result of new and improved therapies.

Treatment might include:

  • Chemotherapy and other drugs
  • Bisphosphonate, a group of medicines that slow down or prevent bone loss
  • Radiation therapy
  • Surgery
  • Plasmapheresis, or blood plasma exchange
  • Stem cell transplant
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Alliance

We offer the latest treatments through our ongoing membership in the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Alliance, which gives you access to the latest standards of care and clinical trials.

The MSK Alliance

Support at the Cancer Institute

The Cancer Institute offers whatever you and your family need on your journey, whether it’s access to an oncology social worker, a nurse navigator to coordinate your care or the support of our Patient and Family Resource Center.

Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute