Multiple myeloma staging

If the biopsy shows that you have multiple myeloma, your doctor needs to learn the extent (stage) of the disease to plan the best treatment. The stage takes into account whether the cancer is causing problems with your bones or kidneys. Staging may involve having more tests:

Blood tests
For staging, the doctor considers the results of blood tests, including albumin and beta-2-microglobulin.

CT scan
An X-ray machine linked to a computer takes a series of detailed pictures of your bones.

MRI
A powerful magnet linked to a computer is used to make detailed pictures of your bones.

The stages
Doctors may describe multiple myeloma as

  • Smoldering: Early disease without any symptoms.
  • Stage I: Early disease with symptoms (such as bone damage).
  • Stage II: The disease is more progressed but still moderate. More myeloma cells are found in the body, but your disease has no progressed to advanced tumors.
  • Stage III: The disease is advanced, and a large number of myeloma cells are found in the body, as well there other indications and symptoms.