To diagnose Myeloma doctors use different tests. After physically examining the patient, if doctor suspects any symptoms of Myeloma, he may ask the patient to go for certain tests to diagnose Myeloma and determine the extent of its spread. It helps in determining the stage of the disease and deciding the appropriate treatment method for it. There are many tests, which are done to diagnose Myeloma. They are listed below.

Blood Tests- 

Different blood tests are done for the purpose of diagnosing Myeloma. Some of the blood tests done for Myeloma detection are as follows-

Serum Protein Electrophoresis –

This test is done to check the amount of abnormal antibodies in the blood. It also helps in finding out if the treatment is working properly.

Full Blood Count –

This test checks the amount of white cells, red cells and platelets in the blood.

Urea and Electrolytes –

This test is done to check functioning of kidneys.

Calcium Level –

This test is done to check level of calcium in the blood.

Beta-2 Microglobulin-

 This test is done to find out level of Beta-2 Microglobulin in the blood.

Albumin levels –

Albumin levels in the blood are checked through this test.

Serum Free Light Chain Analysis (Freelite) –

This test is used to detect very small levels of light chains and helps in detection of other plasma conditions leading to Myeloma. Doctors may also advise urine tests to detect if there are any traces of abnormal proteins in the urine.

Bone Marrow Test-

If blood tests confirm that there are Paraproteins in patient’s blood or urine, then doctor may advise for a bone marrow biopsy. For this test a sample of bone marrow is collected from the back of your hipbone or the breast bone. This sample is examined in the lab. Patients are administered with anaesthetics, while collecting the sample.

Cytogenetic-

Cytogenetic tests are done to determine the best method of treatment for the patient based on test results. It can also help in determining how well the disease will respond to the treatment. Genes are responsible for control on all the activities of cells. Each cell has chromosomes, which are made of genes. Myeloma may affect structure of the chromosomes. The bone marrow samples are tested to find out any changes in the chromosomes. Fluorescence in Situ Hybridisation or FISH test is used to find out changes in the chromosomes.

Imaging Tests- 

Different types of imaging tests are also done to diagnose Myeloma. Doctor may use X-ray or other scans to determine damage to bones due to Myeloma cells.

Stages Of Myeloma

The stage of Myeloma is decided by its spread in the patient body. Doctors first detect extent to which Myeloma has spread through different diagnostic methods. Then depending on its spread determine its stages. Myeloma has been divided into three stages. Stages are determined by checking the levels of the blood proteins beta-2 microglobulin and albumin through blood tests.

Stage 1

In the first stage the level of the beta-2 microglobulin is less than 3.5mg/dL and the level of albumin is 3.5g/dL or more.

Stage 2

When the level of both beta-2 microglobulin and the albumin becomes less than 3.5, or the beta-microglobulin level is between 3.5 and 5.5mg/dL, Myeloma is said to be in stage two.

Stage 3

In this advanced stage of Myeloma the level of the beta-2 microglobulin becomes 5.5 mg/dL or more.

Causes and Risk Factors of Myeloma

Treatment of Myeloma