To diagnose multiple myeloma, a doctor may order certain blood tests, especially since plasma cells are found in the blood. Since the bones are the most frequently affected parts of the body, a doctor may also order an X-ray or an MRI to identify areas of bone loss and to determine if there is involvement of the spine. To establish the diagnosis, a biopsy of the bone marrow is usually done.
There are many treatment options available that slow the growth of the myeloma cells and help ease bone pain, fatigue, and other symptoms associated with the disease. The type of treatment depends on a person’s general health and the type and stage of myeloma. Treatment options for myeloma include:
• Immunomodulators (drugs that target specific areas of the immune system)
• Medications to treat anemia
• Radiation therapy
• Stem cell transplant
• Medications to improve bone health