Our 24/7 cancer helpline provides information and answers for people dealing with cancer. We can connect you with trained cancer information specialists who will answer questions about a cancer diagnosis and provide guidance and a compassionate ear.
Our highly trained specialists are available 24/7 via phone and on weekdays can assist through video calls and online chat. We connect patients, caregivers, and family members with essential services and resources at every step of their cancer journey. Ask us how you can get involved and support the fight against cancer. Some of the topics we can assist with include:
For medical questions, we encourage you to review our information with your doctor.
Radiation therapy uses high-energy rays or particles to kill cancer cells. Radiation may be used to treat areas of bone damaged by myeloma that have not responded to chemotherapy and/or other drugs and are causing pain or may be near breaking. It’s also the most common treatment for solitary plasmacytomas.
If myeloma severely weakens the vertebral (back) bones, these bones can collapse and put pressure on the spinal cord and spinal nerves. Symptoms include a sudden change in sensation (such as numbness or tingling), sudden weakness of leg muscles, or sudden problems with urination or moving the bowels. This is a medical emergency; patients with these symptoms should call their doctor right away. Prompt treatment with radiation therapy and/or surgery is often needed to prevent paralysis.
The type of radiation therapy most often used to treat multiple myeloma or solitary plasmacytoma is called external beam radiation therapy. The radiation is aimed at the cancer from a machine outside the body. Having radiation therapy is much like having a diagnostic x-ray except that each treatment lasts longer, and the course of treatment can continue for several weeks.
Side effects of radiation can include:
These symptoms improve once treatment is over.
Our team is made up of doctors and oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.
Munshi NC, Anderson KC. Ch. 112 Plasma cell neoplasms. In: DeVita VT, Hellman S, Rosenberg SA, eds. Cancer: Principles and Practice of Oncology. 10th edition. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2015.
Rajkumar SV, Dispenzieri A. Multiple myeloma and related disorders. In: Niederhuber JE, Armitage JO, Doroshow JH, Kastan MB, Tepper JE. Abeloff’s Clinical Oncology. 5th edition. Philadelphia, PA. Elsevier: 2014:1991-2017.
Last Revised: February 28, 2018