What diagnostic tests will the doctor order
Multiple myeloma alterations are sometimes found incidentally in a routine medical test. In other cases, it is found in active multiple myeloma when patients already have signs and symptoms. If your doctor suspects you have multiple myeloma, they would likely order these tests:
- A complete blood test: This is made to examine cells under a microscope, including plasma cells, white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets, to see if they are damaged or abnormal. The doctor will also look at the shape and structure of the cells.
- Urine tests: In the urine, a molecule known as Bence Jones protein could be found in patients with bad prognoses.
- Myeloma protein levels: As mentioned above, abnormal plasma cells produce a specific protein we can detect in the blood. These proteins can be detected by immunoglobulin analysis or any other method.
- Radiography: It is important to determine if there is a visible mass in the vertebrae. It is also essential to rule out or diagnose skeletal lesions and pathological fractures.
- Aspiration and biopsy: This is the definitive diagnostic method and the only way to confirm if you have multiple myeloma or not. An aspiration sample is taken from the bone marrow, and the cells are examined under the microscope to see the differences from the normal tissue.
- Cytogenetic analysis: The doctor will also use a chromosome analysis to check for genetic markers, which may indicate multiple myeloma and worsen the prognosis.