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Multiple Myeloma Diagnosis

Patients may need x-rays to check for broken or thinning bones.
In order to perform a biopsy, the doctor will need to remove tissue to look for cancer cells. A biopsy is the only sure way to determine if myeloma cells are in the bone marrow. The doctor will remove some bone marrow from the hipbone or another large bone, and patients receive local anesthesia to reduce their discomfort. A pathologist will then use a microscope to check the tissue for cancer cells.
There are two ways in which the doctor can obtain bone marrow: bone marrow aspiration and bone marrow biopsy. In a bone marrow aspiration, the doctor will use a thin needle to remove samples of bone marrow. In a bone marrow biopsy, the doctor will use a thick needle to remove a small piece of bone and bone marrow.
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