Update on the COVID-19 pandemic

Information regarding COVID-19 is in constant change, as is the situation regarding vaccination and prioritization for immune-compromised individuals.

If you have any COVID-19-related questions, we’ve created a specific COVID section on our website that can be accessed by clicking here or by selecting the “News & Events” tab from our homepage. In this section, you’ll find the latest news and information about the pandemic in Canada from trustworthy and reliable sources.

Any specific questions that you may have regarding the COVID-19 vaccination, delays between vaccine dosing, and prioritization within your province are best answered by your healthcare team. They’re the ones who know you and your particular situation and are therefore in a position to best address your unique concerns.

Created by, and entirely focused on, Canadians impacted by myeloma, Myeloma Canada is the only national charitable organization committed to providing you with the most up-to-date and reliable information on myeloma. Some of the ways we do this is through our monthly e-newsletter, “Myeloma Matters”, as well as through our social media platforms.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us at contact@myeloma.ca or toll-free at 1-888-798-5771 with any questions regarding our programs and services.

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Symptoms of Myeloma

During the early stages of myeloma, there may be no symptoms. Often, patients first go to their doctor because of vague symptoms like fatigue, recurrent infections or back pain – which they may mistakenly believe to simply be signs that they are "getting older."

Most of the symptoms and complications of myeloma result from the excessively high number of plasma cells in the bone marrow and the presence of M-protein (paraprotein) in the blood or urine.

  Common Symptoms of Myeloma

Pain

  • Pain is the main reason for 70% of people with myeloma patients to first seek medical attention
  • As myeloma cells invade the bone, they cause damage that weakens the bone and increases the risk of fractures
  • Pain is most frequently reported in the middle or lower back, in the ribs or in the hips 
Fatigue

Fatigue can be due to:

  • The myeloma itself
  • One or more myeloma-related complication (eg, anemia)
  • Side effect of myeloma treatments
Anemia

Excessively large number of abnormal plasma cells can decrease the production of red blood cells in the bone marrow and lead to anemia. 

Recurrent Infections & Cold Sores Overcrowding in the bone marrow interferes with the production of healthy infection-fighting cells, reducing the ability of the immune system to fight off infections and illnesses.      

Tiredness Accompanied by Other Symptoms

The breakdown of bone caused by myeloma causes excess calcium to accumulate in the blood (a condition known as "hypercalcemia"), which can lead to a number of different symptoms such as:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle weakness
  • Restlessness
  • Difficulty in thinking
  • Confusion
  • Constipation
  • Increased thirst
  • Increaed urine production
  • Nausea & vomiting
Kidney Problems

Kidney damage can occur as a result of:

  • Too much protein in the blood (which is filtered through the kidneys)
  • High levels of calcium in the blood (due to the breakdown of bone)
  • Excessive light chain proteins from the immunoglobulin in the urine 

Not all people with myeloma will have all (or even any) of the above symptoms and complications 

These symptoms may not even be due to myeloma – they may be related to other health problems that cause the same symptoms. That's why it's important for anyone experiencing these (or any other) symptoms to consult with a medical professional, so that any problem can be diagnosed – and treated – as early as possible. 

For more information, download the Multiple Myeloma Patient Handbook

Designed to provide educational support to patients, caregivers, families, and friends, this handbook gives accurate, reliable, and clear information on myeloma. Topics cover its causes and effects, how it is diagnosed and the treatment options available in Canada.

DOWNLOAD IT NOW