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What Happens If Multiple Myeloma Is Left Untreated?

Myeloma is a Greek word, which implies marrow and oma means tumor. As malignant form of plasma cells take place almost in every location, doctors call it as multiple myeloma. In most of the cases, multiple myeloma starts in the patients’ bone marrow i.e. the spongy and soft tissue responsible to fill the center of various bones. Bone marrow is responsible for the formation of platelets, white blood cells and red blood cells.

Multiple myeloma patients often develop excessive numbers of abnormal plasma cells in bone marrows. Cancerous plasma cells thus multiply to buildup in bone marrow and crowd out various normal and healthy blood cells. The formation of myeloma cells result in pool of medical problems and complications, which include reduction in the production of blood cells, damages to surrounding bones. In addition, myeloma cells cause organ damage and various problems related to circulation and clotting of blood.

What Happens If Multiple Myeloma Is Left Untreated?

Similar to the case of any other cancerous disease, if you leave your multiple myeloma untreated, you will find many other symptoms to develop with the progression of your problem. (1) These include the following-

Bone Diseases

The accumulation of bone dissolving and plasma cells cause tiny bone fractures in multiple myeloma patients. Accordingly, bones not only become severely weak, but also become prone to break. Because of bone disease/weak bones due to multiple myeloma, you may even feel pain in your skull, ribs, pelvis and lower back. (2)


Increase in bone destruction results in excessive buildup of calcium in your blood to cause hypercalcemia condition, which calls for immediate treatment. Raised levels of calcium may even take tolls on kidneys to cause muscle weakness, fatigue, appetite loss, confusion, vomiting, headache and nausea. (3)


Myeloma patients often experience inhibition of the growth of RBCs i.e. red blood cells responsible to carry oxygen in the body. In case of any depression associated with RBC development, individuals suffer from anemia. Anemia results in extreme weakness, tiredness and dizziness, along with breathing shortness. Most of the multiple myeloma patients develop anemia problems.

Contracting Infections

Most of the myeloma patients possess reduced WBCs i.e. white blood cells counts. This means, their bodies produce antibodies and lymphocytes required to fight infections in relatively less amounts. Because of this, multiple myeloma patients remain at higher risk to suffer from contracting infections, like shingles, urinary tract infections and pneumonia.

Kidney Damage

If you leave your problem associated with multiple myeloma in untreated condition, you will find the formation of myeloma protein in excessive amounts to cause kidney damage. Moreover, in severe cases, excessive myeloma protein may result in renal failure. In this situation, you have to undergo with kidney biopsy for determining the exact reason behind the kidney problem or kidney damage.

Hyper-Viscosity/Thickening Of The Blood

Abnormal production of proteins by myeloma cells may cause dangerous blood thickening problems, also referred as hyper-viscosity. Whenever blood becomes resistant to flow properly and becomes sticky as well as thick, it leads to nose bleeding, bruising, hazy vision, gastrointestinal bleeding, numbness and confusion. Along with this, when the problem reaches to its extremities, you experience breathing shortness and chest pain.

Complications Related To Nervous System

Collapsing bone structures associated with your multiple myeloma problems may impede on your nerves. Because of this, you experience numbness, severe pain, muscular weakness and tingling sensation. On the other side, when your peripheral nerves present in different parts of your body malfunction at the same time, you suffer from polyneuropathy. The problem initially starts in your feet and may cause due to amyloidosis i.e. a rare myeloma complication.


To conclude, we should say that multiple myeloma in case of leaving it untreated will result in many big complications and even life threatening conditions in patients.


Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:September 13, 2021

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