Coping With Common Multiple Myeloma Side Effects

African American man drinking bottle water

Although it’s considered a rare cancer, African Americans are twice as likely to be diagnosed with multiple myeloma. Multiple myeloma is a cancer which forms as the result of an overgrowth of malignant plasma cells in the bone marrow.

While no one knows for sure what causes multiple myeloma, you’re more likely to get it if:

  • You are older than 65
  • You are African-American
  • You have a family member with it

If you or a loved one is living with multiple myeloma, common side effects and symptoms include bone pain, weakness, fatigue, weight loss, and even kidney damage. According to “Living Well With Myeloma Your Essential Guide,” there are several ways one can cope with the side effects and symptoms associated with the uncommon cancer.

Pain

Bone pain is a common symptom for sufferers. When myeloma cells in the bone marrow affect the surrounding bone, it becomes weak, brittle and breaks down much faster than it can be repaired. It most often occurs in the middle or lower back, the hips and the rib cage.

For relief, you can try the following:

  • Take pain-killers (bisphosphonates) as prescribed, regularly.
  • If you’re taking painkillers as prescribed, but find that they’re not effective, tell your                     doctor or nurse, who can perform a case of trial and error to find the best treatment for you.
  • Avoid non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen and diclofenac   (Voltarol®) as they can damage the kidneys.