Q. Am I at risk of multiple myeloma based on CBC and family histories?

Answered by
Dr. Parth R Goswami
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Dec 06, 2018

Hello doctor,

I am 44 years old male. I am attaching pictures of my seven year CBC history. Here is what happened this year. On my annual physical 11 months back, my WBC was low. Three months back, my GP checked it again. WBC came back in range but platelets were low. Over seven years, platelets have been between 134 and 165. GP sent my CBC history to two oncologists for review of low platelets. One said do test for H.pylori, hepatitis c, and HIV. Did the tests, all came negative. Both the oncologists asked to follow CBC. My father died of multiple myeloma at age of 64. The other day, I noticed a small bruise on my hip. Probably no big deal but have a heightened awareness now. My question is due to my father dying of MM and/or my CBC history, am I at a higher risk of blood cancer? What or when should I be concerned, what to look for? I certainly do not want to go to an oncologist with a single bruise.



Welcome to

Your CBC does not suggest multiple myeloma (attachment removed to protect patient identity). In the case of multiple myeloma, anemia can be there and clinical symptoms like a constant headache, kidney system related symptoms, etc., can be present. But as your father was having a history of multiple myeloma, you are also at risk. But it does not necessarily mean that you will develop cancer in the future, the risk can be there but exact percentage cannot be predicted. So if you suffer from any unusual symptoms related to multiple myeloma like a headache, affected vision, weight loss, bone fractures, fever, etc., then you have to consult a nearby doctor for detailed evaluation.

Your CBC is not showing any dangerous finding but still, I suggest you investigate with peripheral smear examination report and serum immunofixation electrophoresis for further work up. Peripheral smear examination will show any abnormal cells if present and electrophoresis will help in identifying monoclonal M band if present. You can revert back with that report.

Thank you doctor,

Does CBC show any suggestion of leukemia?



Welcome back to

Your CBC does not show leukemia as well. In the case of leukemia, total leukocyte can be high and differential count shows premature cells. So leukemia seems less likely. But still, for peace of the mind, I want to suggest you above mentioned two investigations.

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