How does my doctor know if I have multiple myeloma?
Several tests can help your doctor tell if you have multiple myeloma. An X-ray can identify areas of bone loss. Your doctor might take some blood tests. These tests can tell if you're anemic (have too little iron in your blood), if your calcium level in your blood is too high and how well your kidneys are working.
If the multiple myeloma is in a later stage, you may need more tests. Your doctor might want you to have a magnetic resonance imaging scan of your bones (also called an MRI scan). This scan can show if the multiple myeloma is in your spine.
The only way for your doctor to be sure you have multiple myeloma is by using a needle to take a very small sample of the tissue inside your bone. This is called a bone marrow aspiration. It can be done in your doctor's office. This procedure hurts a little, but no special care is needed afterward.
Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff