At the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research Centre we know that a cancer diagnosis is a life changing event. We also know that every cancer is different, just like every person is different.We are dedicated to supporting and guiding you throughout your care. On this page you can learn about symptoms of myeloma and the potential treatment pathway.

website1400x900_0022_5 website1400x900_0004_25 website1400x900_0018_10

What is myeloma?

Bone marrow is the spongy tissue inside bones and plays an important role in the creation of blood cells and the immune system. Healthy plasma cells are a type of white blood cell which make antibodies that help protect the body from infection. Then plasma cells become cancerous and grow uncontrollably they are called myeloma cells. This growth can cause bone pain and an increased risk of a fracture, which is when the bone breaks. The cells also crowd the bone marrow, reducing the capacity to create healthy blood cells and weakening the immune system. The abnormal antibodies made by these cells, which are called paraproteins or light chains, can also damage the kidneys.

What are the symptoms of myeloma?

If you have any of the following symptoms please see your doctor. These symptoms may also occur for ailments other than cancer. Your doctor will advise if you need tests and where you should go to have these tests. 

  • Pain in bones
  • Easy or unexplained bruising or bleeding
  • Unusual fracture or broken bones
  • Infections that keep returning or can't be cured
  • Shortness of breath
  • A feeling of sickness, exhaustion or confusion
  • Kidney problems
  • Weakness in the legs due to compression of the spinal cord by plasma cell tumours
  • Unexplained fever
  • Tiredness
This information should not be used to replace medical advice.

Can I be treated at the ONJ Centre?

Once you have been diagnosed with cancer, your doctor or specialist can make a referral to the ONJ Centre for your cancer treatment. You can ask to be referred here, regardless of your insurance status or the stage of your treatment. The ONJ Centre is part of Austin Health, a leading Australian public hospital.