Urine test (Light chain / Bence Jones protein)

Your doctor is likely to ask you for a urine sample. This is to check for abnormal antibodies (paraproteins) made by myeloma cells. One part of the paraprotein is the light chain or Bence Jones protein, which the body gets rid of in the urine.

Many people with myeloma have Bence Jones protein in their urine. These protein molecules can damage the kidneys as they pass through them from the blood to the urine.

What happens

You give a sample of your urine in a pot to your doctor or nurse. The sample is sent to the laboratory for tests.

Occasionally your doctor might need to collect your urine over a 24 hour period. You'll need to take a container home to collect your urine. Your doctor or nurse will explain more about how to do this test. 

It is now more common to have a blood test called a serum free light chain (SFLC) assay instead of a 24 hour urine collection. 

Getting your results

You usually get the results within a week or two. The doctor who arranged the test will give them to you.

Waiting for test results can be worrying. It may help to talk to a close friend or relative about how you feel.

You can also call the Cancer Research UK nurses on freephone 0808 800 4040. The lines are open from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.
Last reviewed: 
23 Mar 2020
Next review due: 
23 Mar 2023
  • Cancer: Principles and practice of oncology (10th edition)
    VT DeVita , TS Lawrence, Rosenberg SA
    Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins, 2015

  • Guidelines for the diagnosis and management of multiple myeloma 2013
    J Bird, RG Owen, S D’Sa and others
    On behalf of the Haemato-oncology Task Force of the British Committee for Standards in Haematology, UK Myeloma Forum

  • Updates to the guidelines for the diagnosis and management of multiple myeloma
    G Pratt, M Jenner, RG Owen and others
    British Journal of Haematology, 2014, Volume 167

  • Myeloma: Diagnosis and Management
    National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), February 2016

Related links