EACH year, more than 5,700 people are diagnosed with myeloma, according to Myeloma UK.
It accounts for 15 percent of blood cancers and two percent of all cancers.
The disease arises from plasma cells and the charity once said that around 24,000 people are living with myeloma in the UK.
It can affect your body in several ways and most of the symptoms are caused by a buildup of abnormal plasma cells in the bone marrow.
But medics have said there is one sign that could strike tomorrow morning.
Cancer Research UK experts said you may feel drowsy and have trouble waking up.
The charity said this is due to too much calcium in your blood – known as hypercalcaemia.
This happens when the bones are damaged and calcium is released into the bloodstream.
According to the guidelines, about 30 percent of people with myeloma have these symptoms when they go to the doctor.
Experts state that you can also feel very thirsty, sick and tired.
“You may also urinate a lot, as your body is trying to get rid of the extra calcium. If hypercalcemia is not treated and gets worse, it can make you drowsy and difficult to wake up to,” she added.
While this is just one of the signs, the experts said there are six others to watch out for.
1. Bone pain and damage
Data from the charity shows that up to 70 percent of people with myeloma suffer from bone pain.
This is usually described as a dull or aching pain often felt in the lower back or ribs.
The pain is caused by plasma cells building up in certain areas, where large cells damage the bones, which can occasionally lead to fractures or bone fractures.
The experts said shortness of breath and fatigue can occur because you don’t have enough red blood cells.
They explained, “This happens because there are abnormal plasma cells in your bone marrow. The abnormal plasma cells damage the bones and crowd out the normal blood cells.”
If you have myeloma, you may be more susceptible to infections, including respiratory infections, the experts said.
Once you develop an infection, it may take longer for it to get better.
This is because you don’t have enough healthy white blood cells to fight the bacteria or viruses.
4. Spinal cord compressions
Spinal cord compression occurs when pressure on the spinal cord causes nerves to stop working normally, experts explained.
The symptoms will change depending on where the pressure is on the spinal cord.
Pain often comes first, affecting 90 percent of myeloma patients.
Spinal cord compression is an emergency. Call your doctor right away if you have any symptoms of spinal cord compression, the experts say.
5. Changes to your kidneys
This is usually a symptom seen later in myeloma and occurs when large amounts of antibody protein, made by the abnormal plasma cells, can damage your kidneys as it passes from the bloodstream into the urine.
This can lead to nausea, loss of appetite and weight loss, dehydration, fatigue and lack of energy, swollen ankles, feet and hands.
6. Bruising and bleeding
Abnormal bruising and bleeding may occur because the large numbers of plasma cells in your bone marrow have prevented platelet production, the experts said.
However, they explained that this is quite rare in myeloma.
If you are concerned about any of your symptoms, you should contact your GP.
Always call 999 in the event of an emergency.