A person living with myeloma needs support to reduce the physical and emotional impact of the diagnosis and to promote living well with this illness. The IMF encourages a parallel approach: treating myeloma and managing side effects. Early use of supportive care measures is just as important as receiving treatment. This section covers care guidelines for managing multiple myeloma complications and side effects from treatment. 

Myeloma cells in excess numbers cause: 

  • Calcium elevation 
  • Renal dysfunction 
  • Anemia 
  • Bone pain 
  • Fatigue 
  • Infections 
  • Other symptoms  

Treatment for myeloma can cause: 

  • Bone marrow suppression (i.e. anemia) 
  • Risk of infection, including shingles and pneumonia 
  • Gastrointestinal issues like diarrhea and constipation 
  • Peripheral neuropathy 
  • Deep vein or pulmonary thrombosis (i.e. blood clot) 
  • Endocrine (gland) issues (i.e. high blood sugar, thyroid dysfunction) 
  • Other symptoms 

A diagnosis of multiple myeloma is a life-changing event that can have an emotional impact including: 

  • Depression 
  • Anxiety 
  • Grief 

To learn about each of these complications, explore the sidebar by scrolling up to the top of this page.

The International Myeloma Foundation medical and editorial content team

Comprised of leading medical researchers, hematologists, oncologists, oncology-certified nurses, medical editors, and medical journalists, our team has extensive knowledge of the multiple myeloma treatment and care landscape

Additionally, the content on this page is medically reviewed by myeloma physicians and healthcare professionals.

Last Medical Review: January 26, 2024

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